ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) – Demand for the COVID-19 vaccine will continue to exceed supply “for the foreseeable future,” Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday.
During a news conference Thursday afternoon, Hogan said the state is simply not getting enough doses to vaccinate the more than two million Marylanders who are eligible.READ MORE: Maryland State Police Investigating Fatal Pedestrian-Involved Crash In Prince George's County
The governor said he understands peoples’ frustrations with getting the vaccine, especially older Marylanders who are asking why they can’t get schedule an appointment.
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“They can’t schedule an appointment for a vaccine that does not yet exist,” he said. “The basic problem is pretty simple: we need more damn vaccines.”
UPDATES FROM GOV. HOGAN’S NEWS CONFERENCE:
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- Gov. Hogan Says Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccine, Made In Baltimore, Could Be ‘Major Breakthrough’ To Increase Supply
- M&T Bank Stadium Mass Vaccination Site Opens February 25, More Planned For Around Maryland
- COVID Latest: Limited Visitation To Resume At Maryland Hospitals, Nursing Homes
One of those frustrated Marylanders is Edward Levine. The Baltimore County resident said he thought he had a first vaccine dose with a pharmacy until his appointment disappeared.
“Now it looks like all the sites I have tried, CVS, Walgreens, the state, county, Johns Hopkins, all the different areas all the different providers had nothing,” he said. “God forbid anybody who doesn’t have access, doesn’t have the ability to really navigate these things.”READ MORE: James Dale Reed Found Guilty Of Voter Intimidation After Leaving Letter Threatening President Biden, VP Harris In Maryland Mailbox
CVS began making appointments in the state on Thursday, but they filled up fast and are now booked until next week.
“This is the worst pandemic we’ve ever seen, and people are anxious, people are excited, people are crying when they’re receiving their vaccines,” said Dr. Alexandra Ashworth from CVS Health.
Hogan said he has made a number of requests of the federal government, including using the Defense Production Act to make more vaccines. He also said he wants the federal government to coordinate more closely with states about vaccine allocations.
The governor said 785,170 total COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the state.
The state’s health department will also start giving counties four-week projections of how many vaccines they can expect to allow them to better prepare. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will also give states two-week projections instead of one.
Hogan touted the state’s improving health metrics, saying 20 of the 24 jurisdictions have dropped out of the federal government’s “red zone.”
He called on county health departments to help the state reach underserved populations. Each county is being asked to appoint an equity officer in order to closely coordinate on equity initiatives.
Hogan is also set to take part in a bipartisan meeting Friday at the White House with President Joe Biden to talk about Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
Watch Below: Gov. Hogan’s Full News ConferenceMORE NEWS: 46-Year-Old Man Injured In Shooting In SW Baltimore, Police Say