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Local Hospitals May Be Passed Over for Initial COVID Vaccine Distribution

December 12th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

After learning that UPMC Western Maryland was one of 22 hospitals in the state omitted from receiving the COVID vaccine in the first round of allocation scheduled for this week, local elected officials reacted strongly, blasting the state for bypassing one of the hardest hit regions in the nation. UPMC Western Maryland President Barry Ronan issued a statement Friday in response, saying that there have been assurances that the local health system will be a priority in the second distribution which is expected a few days after the initial doses are allocated. 

In an update of this story, Maryland Health Secretary Dennis Schrader, in response to an inquiry from State Senator George Edwards, said that the problem is being addressed. He informed Edwards of the following:

- Every region and every hospital in Maryland will receive vaccines from the initial federal allocation of 155,000 doses. This initial allocation includes UPMC Western MD and Garrett Regional. The 155,000 doses does not include the second shot, which is being held by the manufacturer for administration.

 - Every nursing home staff and resident, approximately 60,000 individuals which is a subset of the 155,000, will receive their first shot in the coming weeks through the Federal Long Term Care Facility / Chain Drug Store (CVS/Walgreens) partnership. Scheduling is beginning now through CVS/Walgreens.

 - Maryland made its initial allocation decisions based on logistics for the distribution of the 155,000 doses.

 - Maryland was asked to put in our Moderna orders by 8 pm tonight for prepositioning of doses to test their distribution system. These orders are part of the 155,000 doses. We are asking for 500 to be placed at UPMC Western MD and 100 for Garrett  Regional.