Phase 1B of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout in Maryland, expected to begin by around the end of January, will include teachers, Gov Larry Hogan announced this afternoon.
In addition to teachers, all Marylanders over the age of 75 will also be able to get vaccinated in Phase 1B, as will high-risk inmates, people living in special needs group homes, and people involved in the “continuity of government,” he said in a 5 PM press conference.
“By taking myself out of the equation as a vector of transmission, then I feel like we’re going to have a healthier classroom and better attendance,” the paper quoted Sommer Lyons, a pre-K teacher at McKinley Elementary School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as saying. “Kids do better when we serve them in person.”
The Maryland State Department of Education is expected to begin coordinating with local school systems to get teachers and critical staff vaccinated once Phase 1B begins, WBAL-TV (NBC affiliate) reported. Phase 1A includes front-line and healthcare workers, as well as nursing home residents and a few other groups.
During the 35-minute press conference, Mr Hogan acknowledged some slowness in the push to get vaccines distributed across the state, but he was optimistic the distribution would improve over the next few weeks. He said the state is doing everything possible to ensure the rollout goes as smoothly as possible.
“Distributing and administering vaccines throughout 2021 will be, without question, the greatest peacetime undertaking in American history, and it will be a massive, all-hands-on-deck ongoing operation involving the federal, state, and local governments and the private sector,” he said.