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Coronavirus

Maryland Officials Warn of Lengthy Timeline on COVID Vaccine

September 17, 2020

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — It will likely be at least six to eight months longer before a coronavirus vaccine can be distributed in a best-case scenario, leading Maryland health officials and lawmakers said as they make plans for the state.

Senate President Bill Ferguson said he spoke on Tuesday with one of the principal investigators at Johns Hopkins University who is working on a vaccine now in its third phase. While there has been remarkable progress, Ferguson said Wednesday that the logistics that go into distributing a vaccine are “enormous and herculean.”

“I think it’s really important that we keep that in mind moving forward as we make decisions about the future of Maryland — that even with an amazing light-speed approval, it is still six to eight months from that point until we’ll start to see the impact on herd immunity overall, so there is time to go in this ballgame,” Ferguson, a Baltimore Democrat, said during a meeting of a legislative panel on the coronavirus.

Robert Neall, Maryland’s health secretary, emphasized that people need to be prepared to use available tools like masks and handwashing well into next year.

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