Maryland sets one-day record but expects a shortfall of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WDVM) — The state of Maryland will receive about 78,000 fewer Johnson & Johnson doses than were expected next week, resulting in a 33% overall drop in their single-dose vaccine supply. Despite the setback, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced Saturday that the state reports a new one-day record of 94,773 vaccinations. This is the first time that the state surpassed a 90,000 per day vaccination rate.

“It was an honor to join @GovLarryHogan, @MDHealthDept Sec. Schrader, Brigadier General Birckhead, @MontCoExec, and state and local officials as we celebrated the opening of the mass vaccination site at @montgomerycoll’s Germantown campus,” said U.S Representative David Trone on Twitter Wednesday.

“The coalition has had the enthusiastic support of the Maryland government throughout its efforts,” said Gov. Hogan in a press release Saturday. He plans to visit another Maryland mass vax site in the coming days.

Despite Saturday’s one-day record, many guessed the sudden shortfall was due to the 15 million doses that did not pass quality checks. The Maryland Department of Health will have to watch the daily vaccine rate in the coming weeks, even after Saturday’s one-day record. They are currently looking into how the shortage will impact overall daily doses.

“We are asking for projections from the federal government. They have informed us that it may be a few weeks before the Johnson & Johnson returns back to what the anticipated doses were,” said Bryan Mroz, assistant secretary of health for the Maryland Department of Health.

This was a point of frustration for some of the vaccine providers, especially with the increased demands from both the state’s expansion and U.S. President Biden’s goal for each state to open eligibility to all Americans by May 1. Health Secretary Dennis R. Schrader addressed these concerns in a letter.

“Please keep in mind that the vaccines are federal assets, and the federal government controls our vaccine supply. We are entirely dependent on weekly allocations from the federal government, which we have consistently been told would either remain stable or increase,” wrote Schrader. “This significant decrease with no advance notice is a surprise and a disappointment, and we share your frustration.”

Through all this, the Maryland Department of Health expressed its gratitude to the state’s residents for their patience and their commitment to getting vaccinated as soon as they became eligible to get the life-saving booster in medical technology.

“I always want to thank Marylanders,” said Mroz. “We can provide it, we can make it available, but it’s people actually getting out and getting the vaccine that makes a difference. We still are in a race against the variants.”

The shortage will not impact the number of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna doses. So people who are waiting on their second dose will be able to do so on time as scheduled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As you wait for time to pass to receive your second shot, you will be able to get it. Officials said this should not pressure new mobile vaccination sites as they had already relied more on Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna supplies.

Hagerstown, Salisbury, and M&T Bank Stadium mass clinics are now offering walk-in, no-appointment vaccinations. A limited supply of these will be available each day from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Additionally, other clinics are being held at 500 local retail stores and stand-alone pharmacies.

Marylanders are encouraged to visit this website to find local area pharmacies and mass clinics.

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