ANNAPOLIS — Gov. Larry Hogan received his first dose of Moderna coronavirus vaccine during a Monday morning press event.
The shots for Hogan, Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford, the wives of the two executives and acting Deputy Health Secretary Jinlene Chan come on the same day as the state enters phase 1B of its COVID-19 vaccination plan. It also comes as the governor has expressed concerns about some public reluctance to receive the doses that could tamp down rising infections and deaths in the state and across the country.
“Wow, I didn’t even feel it,” said Hogan after receiving his vaccination. “Nice work.”
Rutherford was the third to receive the vaccination after First Lady Yumi Hogan.
“Governor, I did feel that,” he said. Many of those in the room laughed.
Hogan, Rutherford, their wives and Chan will all have to receive their second doses in 28 days.
A spokeswoman for House Speaker Adrienne Jones said lawmakers also will have vaccinations made available to them.
“We are working with (the health department) to get any legislators that still need it vaccinated, prioritizing over 65 and immunocompromised, in the coming weeks,” the spokeswoman said.
Some counties including Baltimore and Prince George’s, have started contacting lawmakers from those respective jurisdictions.
As of Monday, the state had administered more than 255,000 doses and doing so at a pace that is may soon exceed the state’s allotment from the federal government.
“I cannot emphasize enough that there is only a very limited supply that has been given to us by the federal government,” said Hogan.
There are 1.5 million people eligible in phase one. The state will need 12 million doses to fully vaccinate all 6 million state residents with the currently available vaccines.
Lat last week, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told reporters that a stockpile of second doses did not exist. Initially, governors were told that for each shipment sent, an equal number of doses would be held in reserve to ensure patients received their second doses.
Early last week, federal officials said they would release the stockpile to be used as initial doses only to have Azar later acknowledge publicly that there was no stockpile.
“I don’t have any concerns about that,” said Hogan. “I believe that we have a pretty good plan, and we’re ramping things up and the second shots are going to be available.”
Under phase 1B, which began today, residents 75 years old and older are eligible for the vaccination as well as some public officials.
Beginning Jan. 25, the state will begin allowing people in phase 1C to receive vaccinations, which includes all Marylanders 65 and older.
While President-elect Joseph Biden and some other national leaders received their shots in December, Hogan and state officials have said for a month that they did not want to “jump the line” and take doses away from those prioritized in phase 1A, primarily hospital workers and nursing home residents and workers.
“The only way we’re going to return to a sense of normalcy is by these COVID-19 vaccines,” Hogan said Monday. Last week he expressed concern about the reluctance of some to be vaccinated.
“Getting vaccinated is the only way to keep you, your family and friends and your community safe,” he said. “And it is absolutely critical to preventing more illnesses, more hospitalizations and more deaths. It’s the only way to end the damage to our economy and bring this pandemic to an end.”
As of Thursday, Maryland had deployed 547,300 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, which represented 99.6% of the doses allocated to the state by the federal government.
Not all of those doses — which the state gives to county health departments and other health care facilities — have been administered.
Local health departments have administered a little more than 41% of the 137,425 doses allotted.
Local hospitals received 320,200 doses but administered about 35%.
Walgreens and CVS, which are contracted to hold vaccination clinics in nursing homes, are reporting a completion rate of 94% and 76% of their scheduled clinics. However, those two pharmacies have only used about 29% of their allotments.