February 1, 2021

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Deidre McCabe, Director, Office of Communications, 410-767-3536

Charlie Gischlar, Deputy Director, Media Relations, 443-463-7234

State health officials committed to equitable vaccine allocations based on county population
Mass vaccination begins in Maryland on Friday

Baltimore, MD – The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) has released allocation figures for Week 8 of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination program. Maryland’s vaccine strategy uses jurisdictional population to guide weekly allocations and ensure local equity.

“Our top priority for allocating vaccines throughout the state is equitable distribution,” said Acting MDH Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “The best way to achieve that equity is by planning with the size of each local population in mind.”

Within each jurisdiction, allocations are based on providers’ efficient administration of previously received doses. Providers with greater capacity to administer doses are given priority in the allocation process. 

“We may shift vaccine allocation from one provider to another within a county, but the county as a whole will still receive the same, equitable share of vaccines,” said Schrader. “This approach helps us ensure that vaccinations make it into Marylanders’ arms as quickly as possible.”

When the state’s first mass vaccination sites open in Prince George’s County and Baltimore City on Friday, February 5, they will provide even more vaccinating capacity. Because these sites will serve broad areas, each will receive its own allocation of doses beyond what is already being provided to the local jurisdictions that it supports. Additional mass vaccination sites will open across the state in the coming weeks. 

Mass vaccination sites will be complemented by local providers (hospitals, local health departments, federally qualified health centers, pharmacies, etc.), which have experience reaching remote areas and underserved local populations.

“We are building a broad infrastructure for vaccine distribution across the state,” added Schrader. “By having multiple outlets for vaccine distribution in each jurisdiction, we make it easier for eligible individuals to access vaccines, and we allow each provider to focus on its area of expertise.”

Immunocompromised Individuals. Beginning today, severely immunocompromised individuals who are receiving treatment in a hospital will be eligible for vaccines in Phase 1C if they have a medical condition putting them at higher risk for developing complications of COVID-19: The conditions include:

  • cancer;

  • end-stage renal disease requiring hemodialysis;

  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;

  • solid organ transplant;

  • sickle cell disease; and

  • diabetes (type 1 or type 2).

Out-of-State Workers. Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Virginia have agreed to a uniform policy for vaccinating individuals who qualify based on their occupation and work in a different jurisdiction than where they reside. Effective immediately, these individuals can contact the local health department where they work to get a vaccine if unable to first do so through their employer.

Independent Living Facilities. The State of Maryland will work with local jurisdictions to vaccinate independent living facilities that have not been previously placed on the registered list of the Federal Long-Term Care Pharmacy Partnership (Part B.) Larger communities may take multiple weeks, dependent on the vaccine allocation.

MDH’s January 28 bulletin provides additional guidance on vaccine distribution. Vaccine bulletins and coronavirus data are available at coronavirus.maryland.gov. Visit covidlink.maryland.gov for more information on Maryland’s response to COVID-19.


The Maryland Department of Health is dedicated to protecting and improving the health and safety of all Marylanders through disease prevention, access to care, quality management and community engagement.

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