Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan received a first dose of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine Monday, declaring: “I really didn’t feel that at all.”
The state’s phased vaccination plan allows for vaccinations to ensure “government continuity” in Phase 1B, which the state entered Monday.
The Maryland National Guard went to the State House in Annapolis to administer the vaccine to the Republican governor; his wife, Yumi Hogan; Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford; the lieutenant governor’s wife, Monica Rutherford; and Dr. Jinlene Chan, the top public health official at the Maryland Department of Health.
Hogan, 64, urged fellow Marylanders to get the vaccine when they are eligible, though he cautioned that demand soon could outstrip supply.
“Getting vaccinated is the only way to keep you, your family, your friends and your community healthy and safe,” Hogan said. “And it is absolutely critical to preventing more illnesses, more hospitalizations and more deaths.”
On Monday, Maryland reported 1,769 new coronavirus cases, the lowest new case count since Dec. 27 amid the post-holiday surge. The state’s hospitals were treating 1,850 COVID-19 patients, 27 more than Sunday. Of those, 421 were being treated in intensive care units, 13 more than Sunday.
And another 29 deaths were reported Monday, bringing the state’s death toll to 6,423 since the virus arrived here last March.
The state’s seven-day average testing positivity rate ticked up a tenth of a percentage point to 8.22%.
Maryland started vaccinating hospital workers, first responders and nursing home residents and staff in mid-December, through Phase 1A of its vaccination program, but the effort got off to a slow start.
According to the federal government, as of Friday morning, just 35% of the doses that have been delivered to Maryland have been administered, 194,705 doses out of 565,125 sent to the state. A total of 15,830 people have been fully vaccinated with the two shots required by both the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines.
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The Hogans and Rutherfords will need to receive the second Moderna shot in four weeks to achieve the best immunity.
Hogan said the state is administering up to 25,000 doses per day, and the state should soon outpace the 10,000 doses per day that are being sent by the federal government.
He hopes the vaccine makers and President-elect Joe Biden’s administration will prioritize manufacturing and distributing the shots.
Maryland opened up eligibility to its Phase 1B populations Monday, including residents age 75 and older, teachers and school staff, child care providers, residents of assisted-living facilities, those in group homes and other congregate-living facilities, and high-risk inmates and jail detainees.
The state will open up the eligibility further next week, on Jan. 25, to Phase 1C: residents ages 65 to 74, more public safety and health workers, and essential workers in grocery stores, food production, labs, manufacturing, public transit and the U.S. Postal Service.
Many local health departments have opened up surveys to gather information from residents who are interested in receiving the vaccine.
Hogan, who was treated for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2015, sported a bandage underneath his camouflage-printed mask on Monday. He had skin cancer removed from his face and back during a procedure on Friday, the second time he has had such a procedure during his term as governor.