December 16, 2020

Governor’s Briefing on COVID-19: December 15, 2020

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December 15, 2020 – Governor Hogan Press Conference


  • More than 5,000 Marylanders have died of the virus and 300,000 Americans.
  • Daisy Solares was one of the first to receive the vaccine.
  • Earliest efforts will focus on frontline healthcare workers, long-term care residents and staff, and first responders.
  • Every hospital in Maryland will receive first doses over the next week.
  • Reactivation of the Maryland National Guard – special field teams will assist with planning, logistical support to points of distribution; will support mobile vaccination clinics; augmenting rapid response teams.
  • As of today: 239,362 confirmed cases;  we have now experienced 42 straight days with more than a 1,000 cases.
  • Our current 7-day statewide positivity rate is at 7.53%.
  • Cases per 100,000 is at 46.4%; ninth lowest in America overall.
  • 23,711 COVID patients have been hospitalized. 1,799 currently hospitalized (highest ever).
  • 88% staffed acute & ICU beds occupied;
  • 13 Maryland hospitals have both acute & ICU bed capacity that is at or above 90% occupied
  • 146 patients are currently in surge beds at alternate care sites that were added back in the spring.
  • We are actively monitoring active cases at 189 of our nursing homes and 142 assisted living facilities.

Testing Update:

  • 5 million+ tests completed to date
  • All 500,000 Korean LabGenomics tests
  • CIAN Diagnostics (Maryland based company) acquiring 1 million more LabGenomics (South Korean) tests


Dr. Jinlene Chan, Dep. Sec (Act.), Public Health Services, MDH

With the FDA approval of the Pfizer covid-19 vaccine.  Distribution has begun in Maryland.

Situational Update:

      • Vaccinations have begun to arrive this week
      • We currently anticipate that every hospital will received their first doses within the next 2 weeks.
      • Nursing home vaccination program will begin within the next 2 weeks; in partnership with CVS and Walgreens to all 227 nursing homes in Maryland
      • Limited initial distribution: 155,000 initial doses dedicated to front line healthcare workers and long term care
      • The Federal Government provides weekly updates on allocations.

Vaccine Distributions Phases:

Phase 1A: All healthcare workers (frontline workers), residents of nursing homes and first responders will be vaccinated.

Phase 1B: Other healthcare workers in non-hospital and non-nursing home settings, those in higher risk categories and those at risk of complications from  COVID will be vaccinated.

Phase 2: Vaccinate critical/essential workers (this will include educators and childcare providers).

Phase 3: The general population will begin to receive the vaccine.

The Initial Vaccines:

Pfizer: Nov 9, 2020 – 95% efficacy

Nov 20, 2020: applied for EUA

Dec 11, 2020: FDA approved EUC

Week of Dec 14, 2020: distribution to hospitals and long-term care pharmacy partnership

Moderna: Nov 16, 2020: 94.1% efficacy

Nov 30, 2020 : applied for EUA

Dec 17, 2020: FDA Advisory Committee to review

Week of Dec 22, 2020: potential distribution

**NOTE: These are BOTH two-dose vaccines**

Safety and Efficacy

Approved for use in individuals age 16 and older

Expect some soreness at the injection site, tiredness and headache

These symptoms show that the vaccine is working

Phase 1A: Front line Healthcare Workers

Initial allocations go directly to hospitals from the federal government

Allocations are based on Maryland Hospital Association data

We have signed up every nursing home in Maryland, activi9ated the Federal Long Term Facility Program on Dec 8, 2020.

CVS and Walgreens are currently scheduling clinics at each nursing home to begin vaccinations as soon as possible

1A: First Responders:

Maryland is setting aside doses from initial allocations for local health dept to vaccinate first responders

Vaccination clinics for EMS, firefighters, and law enforcement may start within the next two weeks.

Daily Transparency:

We will launch a public dashboard to track vaccinations, and p[provide demographic breakdowns. To be released in coming weeks

Public outreach campaign:

Briefing key leaders and stakeholders

Multi-lingual education regarding safety, efficacy, and availability

Leveraging trusted leaders and voices

Questions We’re Getting:

Should people with severe allergies get the vaccine? CDC recommends that only those who get anaphylactic reactions should not get it. Most people should be able to get it without any risk of severe reaction.

How long will Phase 1A last? A lot of this is predicated on how much vaccine we will actually get in the coming weeks/months.

When will out COVID metrics begin to reflect the impact of vaccinations? That is a tough question to answer.


Dr. David Marcozzi, Senior Medical Advisor to the Governor:

COVID-19 Incident Commander, UMMS

Things will get more difficult before they get easier.  Wearing Masks, physical distancing and washing hands needs to remain our normal. Family gatherings should be limited to household contacts.

Read published scientific explanations regarding the vaccine to obtain answers to your questions.  Please take time to get informed from reliable sources, ask experts to make an informed decision.

Components of the Pfizer vaccine:

  1. Active component: MRNA; helps our cells make the spike protein.
  2. Fats – Lipids; protect the MNRA
  3. Salts – Table salt; buffers acidity of the vaccine
  4. Sugar – Sucrose; protects the lipid spheres from sticking together when frozen

It will protect you from getting COVID-19 – you cannot get it from this vaccine.  Two doses required within 21 days of each other.

The vaccine is currently not recommended for children under the age of 16.

Yes there are mild side effects just like any other vaccination.

We are in the home stretch, now more than ever let’s take care of ourselves and each other.



Hogan – will take the vaccine publicly and once he is eligible; he will not jump the line.

Hogan – per CDC, outdoor dining is far more safe than indoor dining which is why the state has taken the steps it has.

Hogan – We have been in touch with DC mayor and have agreed to provide some vaccinations for frontline workers who live in MD and work in DC.

Hogan – Educators and school staff are in a priority group (Phase 2) as per the CDC recommendations

Hogan – National Guard activated and being called up as we need them.


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