ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Gov. Larry Hogan said every Marylander 16 and older will be eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine by April 27.

He announced the largest expansion of eligibility since the start of the vaccination program.

“Now every single Marylander knows when they become eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine,” the governor told reporters at a press briefing from Annapolis on Thursday.

Starting next Tuesday, Hogan said Maryland will move to Phase 2A. Anyone 60 and older will be eligible to get vaccinated.

They can preregister now—online at covidvax.maryland.gov or by phone through the state’s COVID-19 vaccination support center at 1-855-MD-GOVAX (1-855-634-6829).

One week later on March 30, anyone 16 and older with underlying conditions can get the shot.

On April 13, it expands to anyone 55 and older and more essential workers—including those in construction, food services, utilities, transportation, financial services, IT and other infrastructure.

CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:

By April 27, the state hopes to offer the vaccine to everyone aged 16 and older.

“The supply is going to be pouring in, and it’s going to go where we can stick needles in people’s arms,” Hogan said.

Maryland’s Acting Health Commissioner noted—for now—people must continue to pre-register and make appointments before receiving a vaccine.

 

Maryland will also begin allowing doctors to directly administer vaccines to eligible patients. A pilot program involves 37 medical practices.

The state is also expanding mobile vaccination sites with an eye toward equity.

 

“They can selectively reach out to those who have been left behind more than others, and they have these relationships. This is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Dr. Howard Haft, who runs the Maryland Primary Care Program.

Hogan said you should not be picky about which brand of vaccine you get.

“There is such a short supply and such a tremendous demand, anyone who walked away and said, ‘I don’t want that vaccine, I want to wait for another one may be waiting a while.”

He said the federal government promises a big increase in vaccine supply starting March 29th.

It comes as the positivity rate in Maryland is now above 4%, and there are fears of another surge in cases nationwide fueled by more contagious variants.

 

“We watch it every day. If there are concerns, we are going to make adjustments as we have throughout this,” Hogan said.

“The only way we really get it under control is to reach some type of herd immunity.”

As of Thursday, the state had administered two million doses of vaccine. 23.1% of Marylanders have received at least one shot.

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.