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'We need more damn vaccines' | Gov. Hogan says demand for more COVID-19 vaccines continues

The governor says he understands the vaccine frustrations, especially for older Marylanders who are asking why they can’t schedule an appointment to get vaccinated.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The demand for the COVID-19 vaccine will continue to exceed supply “for the foreseeable future,” according to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.

During a news conference Thursday afternoon, Hogan emphasized that Maryland is simply not getting enough doses to vaccinate the more than two million residents who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Hogan said he understands residents’ frustrations with getting the vaccine, especially older Marylanders who are asking why they can’t schedule an appointment to receive their first dose. 

“They can’t schedule an appointment for a vaccine that does not yet exist,” Hogan said. “The basic problem is pretty simple: we need more damn vaccines.”

The governor said he has made several requests to the federal government, including using the Defense Production Act, for officials to make more COVID-19 vaccines. In addition, he also said he wants the federal government to coordinate more closely with states about vaccine allocations.

So far, 785,170 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered across the state of Maryland, Hogan said.

Maryland health department officials said they will also start giving counties four-week projections of how many vaccines they can expect to allow them to better prepare. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will also give states two-week projections versus a one-week projection.

RELATED: 'Just wear the damn mask' | Gov. Hogan calls Maryland's rise in COVID cases 'concerning'

Hogan also announced that limited visitation will resume at hospitals and nursing homes across the state starting March 1; citing lower COVID-19 metrics, including hospitalization levels over the last four weeks, dropping by 34% from nearly 2,000 to now 1,272 as of Thursday morning.

“We are pushing back against this invisible enemy, and we are making great progress,” Hogan said. “However we need to remain cautious and vigilant.”

Officials said nursing homes will be able to allow limited visitation as long as they have no active cases and have the proper testing protocols.

RELATED: Maryland struggling to vaccinate its Black population

RELATED: While vaccination numbers are low, Maryland's data on doses given to communities of color have been transparent, up to date

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