Hogan: State working on plan to vaccinate children

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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said he is expecting clearance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to begin administering COVID-19 vaccinations to children ages 5 to 11 as soon as next week.

In a news conference , Hogan said the Department of Health is currently working on a plan that would aid parents who are interested in having their children vaccinated against COVID-19. He also urged those eligible for booster shots to receive them.

“We are completing final preparations for vaccinating 5- to 11-year-olds,” the governor said. “We anticipate that CDC authorization could come as early as next week. There are 515,000 Maryland children who will immediately be eligible for the vaccine.”

He said Pfizer submitted “data to the federal government showing its vaccine is safe and 90.7% effective against symptomatic COVID-19 in children.”

Hogan said the state is working with pediatricians, pharmacies, school systems and the vaccine task force on the initiative.

“There are a wide range of options,” Hogan said. “We will provide additional updates to ensure parents have all the information they need.”

In his address, the governor said the state “continues to outpace the rest of the country” in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state, according to Hogan, has administered 8.3 million vaccines, with 98% of all Marylanders age 65 and older being fully vaccinated.

He said 85.9% of people age 18 and older are fully vaccinated, and 84.9% of all eligible state residents are vaccinated.

He said the case rate has dropped by 39%, and is down “76% from its peak,” and the positive rate has declined by “37% the last two months and 88% since its peak.” He also said hospitalizations are down 28% in the last two months.

The governor said that currently 1.4 million residents are eligible for COVID-19 booster shots, and “280,000 shots have been administered.” He said booster shots are available from pharmacies, primary care providers, local health departments and mobile clinics.

Hogan said those who had their last COVID-19 vaccine “six months ago or more” may qualify for one of the categories, which includes those 65 and older, age 18 and older with a health risk, and those 18 and older who work in an at-risk occupation.”

“You should strongly consider getting a COVID-19 booster dose immediately,” the governor said during the news conference.

He said individuals who received the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccinate before Aug. 25 would be eligible.

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