By CBS Baltimore Staff

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Governor Hogan announced that Marylanders 65 and older living in congregate settings can now receive a booster shot Wednesday, effective immediately.

“All of the evidence makes it abundantly clear that we can not afford to delay taking decisive action to protect our most vulnerable citizens,” said Hogan.

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Hogan said the order applies to all nursing homes, assisted living facilities, residential drug treatment centers and developmentally disabled group homes. He also instructed all pharmacies and providers across the state to administer booster shots without a prescription or doctor’s order to anyone who is immunocompromised.

“Our state has already administered over 28,000 boosters through immunocompromised Marylanders,” Hogan added.

The announcement comes as the state launched an antibody testing program last month for 500 nursing home residents and found more than 60 percent demonstrated signs of waning immunity.

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The vaccines are the single most effective way to protect people from severe illness hospitalizations and deaths,” said Hogan.

With students back in the classroom, Hogan is putting pressure on the Biden Administration – calling for clarity and expedited vaccines for children under the age of 12.

“We’ve taken it very seriously and have amazing success with 17-year-olds which is keeping them safe but the five through 11-year-olds we’re very concerned about. We don’t want any processes to be skipped. We don’t want to rush anything but at least tell us where are we with the process,” Hogan added.

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Hogan also called for full FDA approval for Johnson and Johnson and Moderna vaccines to assure residents that the vaccine is working.

CBS Baltimore Staff