States gear up to provide vaccines in two phases of distribution.

Friday is the deadline for states to request doses for the COVID-19 vaccines manufactured by Pfizer and to specify where they should be shipped. Drafts for the rollout began last Thursday and most states seem to be following the unofficial advice from the CDC—provide healthcare workers and nursing homes with the first wave of vaccinations. But each state has its own unique concerns and, with it being impossible to provide everyone with a vaccination immediately, they must determine their priorities for public health and economic reasons.

As reported by WTOP News; D.C., Maryland, and Virginia all expect to receive the first shipments of the vaccine in mid-December and all three locales will be giving priority to healthcare workers. The distribution will be broken into two phases and is based on each state's residential population. Phase Two of the plan will be when the inoculation is made available to the general public.

Maryland will be receiving 150,000 doses in its first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine. The focus for Phase One will be first responders and health care workers caring for COVID-19 patients; staff and residents of nursing homes; and essential workers in public safety and education. Governor Larry Hogan has stated, however, that it will only cover half of the state's employees in those fields. Maryland plans on being able to distribute the vaccine to the public this spring.

Virginia is planning to receive an estimated total of 480,000 doses based on information provided by Operation Warp Speed and the Department of Health. The vaccines, manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna, are scheduled to be delivered throughout December. The state also plans to focus on first responders, health care workers with COVID-19 patients, and nursing homes. Governor Ralph Northam said during a press conference that “We fully expect to have enough vaccine for everybody, but it will take time”. The state is hopeful that the vaccine will be available to the public in late spring or early summer.  

The District of Columbia is also planning to focus on their health care workers in Phase One, but they face an interesting problem with the rollout of doses being based on residential population. As anyone from the area knows, most of the workforce in D.C. commute from nearby states and are not included in the District itself. As it stands right now, D.C. would only receive 6,800 doses from Pfizer which is less than 10% of health care workers in the area. Mayor Muriel Bowser is corresponding with Operation Warp Speed to address this issue and said "we will keep pushing on to get the resources that we need".   

Optimistic about the vaccine? Feel like it can't get here soon enough? Let us know in the comments!