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State prepares to vaccinate its youngest against COVID-19

Governor Larry Hogan
Gov. Larry Hogan laid out Maryland's plans for COVID-19 vaccinations. Credit: Joel McCord

About two and a half years since the coronavirus pandemic began children under the age of six may have the opportunity for a vaccine this month.

Dr. Jinlene Chan, Maryland’s deputy health secretary, said the state is preparing to roll out COVID-19 vaccines for children six and under just as soon as the FDA and CDC approve their use.

Chan said in an afternoon news conference on Thursday that could come soon.

Both agencies are to meet to review the Pfizer vaccine for children six months through four years old, and the Moderna vaccine for children under six.

“If approved,” she said, “on Monday, June 20 COVID-19 vaccines for infants and toddlers will be available in Maryland.”

 Jinlene Chan Maryland Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services
Dr. Jinlene Chan is the Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services in Maryland. Credit: Joel McCord

She said the state has received an initial order of 64,500 doses and expects to begin inoculating some 358,00 of the youngest Marylanders.

“And these COVID 19 vaccines, just like other COVID-19 vaccines that we have for other age groups, will help protect our youngest Marylanders against severe disease, hospitalizations, and death,” she said.

At the same time, Gov. Larry Hogan laid out a long term COVID fighting effort that includes expanded testing and treatment centers, outreach programs and promoting more booster shots.

About 4.2 million residents across Maryland have been fully vaccinated against COVID. The largest age group of fully vaccinated residents are between 50 and 59 years old with more than 705,180 individuals in that category. For residents between the ages of six and nine years old, about 155,300 have been fully vaccinated in Maryland.

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