Maryland health officials say the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine could make access more equitable statewide.
Maryland will begin deploying 50,000 doses of the recently approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week, state officials say.
In a statement Monday Governor Larry Hogan celebrated the vaccine’s authorization.
“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is safe, effective, and made right here in Maryland," Hogan said. "Our plan is to get this vaccine into the community right away and right into arms so that we can continue increasing our vaccination rate.”
The vaccinated population in D.C. may be overestimated in this map because some non-residents who work in D.C. are included in the totals.
In Montgomery County, significant efforts have been made not only to deploy vaccine, but to make sure shots are getting in the arms of residents of all demographic backgrounds.
A month after Montgomery County ramped up effort to make the vaccine’s rollout more equitable, Travis Gayles, a county health officer, says the percentage of people vaccinated is starting to mirror the county’s demographic makeup.
He says the newly authorized Johnson & Johnson vaccine should help the numbers continue to trend in the right direction.
"From our framework it does open up opportunities particularly, again, for those individuals who may have some complicated factors that would make it trickier for them to secure the second dose," Gayles said.
He says an additional vaccine will also allow the county to move through the 75 and older group faster, which could also see more minority residents receive the vaccine.
"The 65 to 74 year old group may actually be more diverse than the 75 and up group due to lower life expectancies," he said.
Irma Cuellar, an 89-year-old Montgomery County resident is just a few days away from getting her second COVID-19 vaccine. In the meantime, Cuellar is working the phones for her friends, helping them navigate the confusing registration process.
"Many people my age are not fluent on the use of the computer and it would be easier for them to pick up and call," she said.
Coronavirus Cases in Maryland by Zipcode
Data for ZIP codes with 7 or fewer cases is suppressed.
Credit: Anisa Holmes/NBC Washington
Cuellar lives in one of Montgomery County’s 13 hotspot zip codes, made up primarily of minority residents.
"I just want to be free to go out again," she said.
Cuellar is headed in to get her second dose on Friday – blessed to be one step closer to a bit of freedom.