Maryland expands priority groups in effort to speed COVID vaccination

Maryland is adding additional people into the top tiers of its coronavirus vaccine priority groups, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said Tuesday, in an effort to speed up the slow pace of vaccinations.

Phase 1A, which is ongoing, will now include all licensed and certified health providers, as well as first responders like firefighters, police and EMS.

Phase 1B will include all Maryland residents over age 75, as well as high-risk inmates, teachers, people living in special needs group homes and vaccines for people involved in “continuity of government.”

In addition, Hogan also said that hospitals which don’t use at least 75 percent of their total allotted doses may have future allocations reduced.

To better track vaccinations, Hogan issued an executive order requiring all vaccine providers to report data on the state’s site, Immunet, within 24 hours.

“Either use the doses that have been allocated, or they will be allocated to another provider,” he said.