The week between Christmas and New Years is considered a vacation time for many but that will not affect the distribution of Maryland’s allotment of coronavirus vaccines as the state is expected to allocate an additional 82,800 doses from Pfizer and Moderna.

Phase 1A of distribution, which has thus far prioritized the vaccination of frontline health care workers and nursing home residents and staff-will expand this week to include the state’s first responders who will be able to get the vaccine at local health departments.

The extra doses mean that enough vaccines are available to inoculate 100% of the state’s frontline hospital staff and that this week Maryland will have a total of 273,875 doses of the vaccine. That figure includes 140,300 doses from Moderna and 133,575 doses from Pfizer.

Gov. Larry Hogan applauded the good news in a statement on Monday.

“This week’s COVID-19 vaccine allocations will allow our first responders to begin getting vaccinated and help keep them safe while they keep us safe. This is another important step as we make our way through the initial phase of our statewide vaccination plan.”

Phase 1B of distribution will include Marylanders who considered to be at high risk of complications from COVID-19. Phase 2 of distribution will include people who work in essential infrastructure roles and those who are considered to be at a moderately higher risk of complications from the disease. Phase 3 of distribution will cover the general population.

There are 269,183 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Maryland as of Monday morning, according to the state’s Department of Health, and 5,573 people in Maryland have died from the virus. The state’s positivity rate is at 7.42%, which is well above CDC recommended guidelines for containment. Maryland has conducted more than 5.6 million COVID-19 tests.

More than 152,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported nationwide on Sunday.

This article originally appeared on on December 28, 2020, and is republished with permission.

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