A new phase of Maryland’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution begins Tuesday, opening eligibility to people with disabilities and residents ages 16 and older with certain underlying health conditions.
Phase 2B is expected to make nearly 1 million additional residents eligible for the shots.
Here are answers to some questions about the new phase:
Who is newly eligible for the vaccine?
The new phase includes all Marylanders ages 16 and older with underlying conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19 illness, and people with disabilities.
But which conditions does that include? There are many, including chronic lung diseases, heart conditions, being overweight or obese, and pregnancy. (People receiving hospital-based care and diagnosed with conditions that include cancer, diabetes and sickle cell disease were already covered under a previous phase of the vaccine rollout.)
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State officials have directed Marylanders to go to the CDC website for a full list of qualifying conditions. They also say people may want to consult their doctors to determine their individual risk.
In addition, the following groups of people with disabilities ages 16 and older are eligible: those receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits; people in the Maryland Medicaid Employed Individuals with Disabilities (EID) program; Maryland Medicaid Rare and Expensive Case Management (REM) recipients; and Marylanders receiving Temporary Disability Assistance Program (TDAP) benefits.
Also eligible are those with disabilities who receive long-term services and supports through the Medicaid waiver and state plan.
How do I sign up?
You can visit covidvax.maryland.gov to preregister for a mass vaccination site. Preregistration is available for people eligible for Phase 1, Phase 2A and Phase 2B.
The site can also help you find other locations near you that offer vaccinations, such as pharmacies, hospitals and local health departments.
When does the next phase begin?
The next stage, Phase 2C, is scheduled to begin April 13. It includes Marylanders ages 55 and older — plus workers in industries that include construction; food services; utilities; transportation; financial services; and information technology.
Phase 3, the final stage, is set to begin April 27 and covers all Marylanders ages 16 and up.