Maryland: All 16-year-old residents are eligible for the vaccine

AP
Washington Hispanic:

All Maryland residents over the age of 16 will be eligible to get vaccinated at mass vaccination sites on Tuesday, Governor Larry Hogan announced.

That same group will be eligible to schedule appointments through all providers starting next Monday, the governor said at a news conference. Residents 16 and over represent Phase 3 of the state’s implementation plan.

“Appointments for any remaining individuals in Phase 1 or Phase 2 will continue to be prioritized,” Hogan said. “And Maryland residents who are 16 or 17 years old will only be able to use clinics that are providing the Pfizer vaccine, as this is only one that is currently approved by the (Food and Drug Administration) for ages 16 and over.”

Hogan stressed that not everyone over 16 will be able to get vaccinated immediately due to lack of supply. However, he said that in the coming weeks of April and May, state authorities believe they will have enough vaccines for people who want them.

“And that is why we are trying to get an organized process,” Hogan said. We don’t want to slow down. We want to continue increasing ».

Maryland residents can pre-register for an appointment at a mass vaccination site online at covidvax.maryland.gov. They can also call the Maryland COVID-19 Immunization Support Center at 1-855-634-6829. Advocates are available seven days a week from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm

Maryland has 12 mass vaccination sites across the state available for pre-registration, and seven more are opening this month.

This week, three more sites are opening at the Greenbelt metro station, the Montgomery College campus in Germantown and the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium.

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Two more mass vaccination sites will open next week, including Frederick Community College, and the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis.

A mass vaccination site is scheduled to open at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen in the week of April 19, and the state is working to open another site at The Mall site in Columbia that week as well.

Hogan also announced that the state is expanding the lines of non-appointment. On Friday, the state opened its first walk-in line in Salisbury. On Tuesday, a ride line will open at the Hagerstown Premium Outlets site. A walk-in line will open next week at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

“In addition, we will add the necessary lines not to cite in each of the other new massive (vaccination) sites that we are opening,” said Hogan. “We want to emphasize that the best way to guarantee a vaccine and go through the sites faster is still to pre-register and secure an appointment.”

There are also about 500 pharmacies that offer vaccines throughout the state.

Separately, Hogan defended the administration’s purchase of 500,000 covid-19 tests last year from a South Korean company when states were scrambling to acquire tests. A state audit released last week said the administration did not follow state government procurement regulations.

The Legislative Audits Office’s audit of lawmakers said the lack of a comprehensive written contract prevented effective monitoring, and lawmakers have criticized the lack of transparency in contracting.

Asked about the audit at the press conference, Hogan described it as “complete nonsense”, describing the purchase of the tests as “probably one of the greatest achievements throughout this pandemic.”

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Lawmakers have criticized the administration for having to pay an additional $ 2.5 million for a second batch of tests to replace the initial first batch of 500,000 tests, which cost about $ 9 million and had not been authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration. United, said the audit.

Hogan said the state ended up using the 500,000 tests it acquired.

“I don’t have much to say about the report, and I wouldn’t change a single thing,” Hogan said. “I really don’t care what those legislators have to say.”

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