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Immunologist Says Hogan’s Vaccination Plan Is “Vague” But As Good As It Can Be For Now


An immunologist from Loyola University Maryland says the draft plan for distributing a potential COVID-19 vaccine that Gov. Larry Hogan released Tuesday needs some work. 

“It's still a bit vague. It's still a bit broad, “ Dr. Chris Thompson, the immunologist, said in an interview. “But I think it's as good as it can be with the information that we have now.”

Under Hogan’s plan, the state would prioritize those vulnerable to developing complications related to COVID-19, as well as frontline first responders, health care workers and essential workers. 

But Thompson wondered how people would be defined as first responders or essential workers. 

“Where's that line drawn? I don't think that's clear yet,” he said. “And that's still going to need to get figured out.”

Still, he said the plan is as good as it can be for now. 

Thompson also said the state should mandate vaccinations because they are the only way to end the pandemic. 

“I know there's a big push for natural herd immunity,” he said. “That's probably not going to work. We would need well over 70% of the population to be infected and generate antibodies. And the data that I've seen suggests the antibodies only lasts for maybe five or six months anyway.”  

He added that vaccines should only be mandated once scientists confirm they are safe. 


Sarah Y. Kim is WYPR’s health and housing reporter. Kim is WYPR's Report for America corps member, and Anthony Brandon Fellow. Kim joined WYPR as a 2020-2021 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. Now in her second year as an RFA corps member, Kim is based in Baltimore City.
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