BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As a COVID-19 vaccine moves closer to approval, many may be wondering who will get it first, and how it will be distributed.

The beginning of the distribution of the long-awaited vaccine may finally come to Maryland in just a few days.

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155,000 doses will be made available to the state as Gov. Larry Hogan said last week, but don’t expect it to all come at once.

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Vaccine expert and professor Dr. Wilbur Chen at the University of Maryland School of Medicine said those doses may be rolled out over the course of a month or so.

“It’s mostly healthcare workers first, especially the healthcare workers that are working in the COVID units,” Dr. Chen said.

Long-term care facility residents could also be some of the first to get the vaccine.

“When they get the infection and they’re susceptible to these outbreaks, we’ve already seen there are a lot of hospitalizations and deaths that occur,” Dr. Chen said.

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The second tier of doses may be available sometime early next year.

Essential workers like first responders, agricultural and food employees, teachers and other school staff might be able to get vaccinated.

Older adults and those with preexisting conditions could also get it.

“We also thought about how can we incorporate health equity into this,” Dr. Chen said. “In other words, making sure that the vaccines are getting to the people who need it most.”

Making sure the vaccine is easily made available is another part of distribution that officials are thinking about so people don’t have to take off work or go out of their way to get vaccinated.

“We are trying to do it say for example in local church parking lots or other places that are central places but more convenient to the local population that actually needs it,” Dr. Chen said.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Stetson Miller