With two COVID-19 (coronavirus) vaccines currently on the market, many Maryland nursing home residents and staffers are wondering when they will be able to receive theirs. With the implementation of a rolling vaccine allocation model, it could be weeks or longer.
The state of Maryland is currently in the first phase of its vaccine rollout, Phase 1A, which comprises all groups most at risk of contracting the virus and suffering complications from infection, including first responders, frontline workers, and long-term facility residents and staffers. Unfortunately, the state’s vaccine rollout has been slower than initially expected.
For instance, through the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care (LTC) Program, CVS and Walgreens have been sent over 61,000 doses, yet only a little over 8,500 doses (13.8%) have been administered, as reported by WBAL-TV. But Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, The Baltimore Sun wrote, is promoting a message of troubleshooting the issue rather than assigning blame as to why the process is going so slowly in the first place.
“We begin 2021 at a critical moment in the war against COVID-19, which continues to pose a serious threat to our state and our nation,” Hogan said. “While the initial launch of vaccine distribution does offer a glimmer of hope, we still have a long way to go in this fight.”
The Maryland governor has, therefore, pivoted distribution to a rolling vaccine allocation model. According to WBAL-TV, this approach does not require the state to wait for an entire priority group to be vaccinated before starting to vaccinate the next.
Hogan also issued an executive order mandating that all Maryland vaccine providers must report vaccine administration within 24 hours on ImmuNet and another order concerning unadministered vaccines, which states that any facility that does not administer at least 75% of its stock of first doses may have future allocations reduced and sent elsewhere.
Furthermore, Phase 1A has been expanded to include all licensed, registered, certified health care providers and law enforcement agencies, frontline judiciaries, and correctional officers. The National Guard is scheduled to dispatch emergency vaccination teams to assist with the rollout.
Hogan plans to have about 30% of Maryland residents vaccinated by May 2021 and begin administering first doses to individuals in Phases 1B and 1C by the end of January and February, respectively. Thus, nursing home residents and staff could expect to receive their first dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine in the weeks to come. There is, however, no specific date by which it can be guaranteed that a resident will have theirs. State residents can sign up for 211 text alerts regarding the vaccine by texting “MdReady” to 898-211.
Protecting the Rights of Nursing Home Residents
Brown & Barron, LLC is an award-winning firm that continues to advocate for nursing home residents who have been harmed by the very facilities to which their family entrusted their care. To speak to a member of our legal team, call (410) 698-1717 or contact us online.