Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) released a draft of the state's Covid-19 vaccination plan this morning. Like all states, Maryland must submit a plan like this to the federal government for how it will store, distribute and administer any future approved vaccines for the coronavirus.
The Maryland vaccination plan is split into three phases: the initial period when vaccine supply may be minimal and who should have priority to receive it must be determined, a second phase when large amounts become available and there is a more general rush to administer it to a large number of people, and a third, ongoing phase when one or more Covid-19 vaccines continue to be distributed like a flu shot in the future.
|Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R)|
The Maryland Department of Health Center for Immunization (CFI) will orchestrate the operational side of implementing the plan. MDH's Office of Preparedness and Response (OP&R) will focus on planning, coordination and logistical matters. And other MDH programs and agencies such as the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and Maryland State Police will take on other roles "as the operational needs evolve," the plan draft states.
Will you, the average Montgomery County citizen, be one of the first to receive a Covid-19 vaccine? No, according to the plan. In phase one, only high-risk members of the population and workers at hospitals, long term care (LTC) and skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) are anticipated to be vaccinated.
The plan states that two doses of the potential vaccine(s) will likely be required, with a period of three or more weeks between shots. Maryland plans to use its PrepMod and Maryland MyIR online portals to send recipients a reminder that it is time to come in for the second dose. PrepMod will also initially be the main vaccine management system,
PrepMod is an online clinic management and appointment scheduling system. It is used by Maryland local health departments to conduct mass vaccination drives and vaccinations at school-located clinics. Maryland's ImmuNet will play a central role as the one-stop shop for health care providers to register as an official Covid-19 vaccine provider, order their vaccine supplies, track vaccine deliveries, report doses administered, and to determine scheduling of second doses.
Maryland's first priority in public messaging when a vaccine becomes available will be assuring the public that it is a safe and effective vaccine. Public communication will then emphasize vaccination of the most-vulnerable first, and then the general population.
One of the other key points covered in the report is the necessary training of providers in the handling, storage and administration of this new vaccine or vaccines. This training will have to be rapid. Among the required training efforts, Maryland plans to utilize state, federal and CDC materials and webinars to get providers up to speed quickly.