One top state official has pledged that nursing home residents and staff members will be the first to receive a coronavirus vaccine, even though a federal advisory group has yet to vote on who should receive top priority.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) made the declaration Thursday while speaking at the headquarters for vaccine developer Novavax Inc. in Gaithersburg, MD, the Baltimore Sun reported.
The state’s plan currently calls for nursing home and assisted living residents and staff to receive top priority for the first round of vaccines, according to the report.
The state would also give top priority to people who attend and work at senior day care centers, other healthcare employees, public safety officials, educators and essential workers. The governor noted these top priority candidates are at the most risk of contracting the disease.
President Trump pledged in May that nursing homes and seniors would be among the first to receive a COVID-19 vaccine once it’s released. However, the federal government has yet to vote on how the medication should be prioritized.
The latest vote on the matter by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine advisory group was supposed to be held earlier this week but has since been delayed, according to multiple reports.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices said it’s now waiting for more data on the matter before it formally makes a decision and is next scheduled to meet in late October.
The CDC advisory group did suggest during an August presentation that healthcare personnel, essential workers, people with high risk medical conditions, and adults 65 and older should receive early vaccination.