Thursday, December 31, 2020

Hello Maryland AMTA Members,

We have heard from a number of members asking about LMTs and RMPs getting access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

First - vaccine delivery is being handled by the counties, so individuals will need to contact their county health department directly - most have posted information on their website already.

Second - LMTs are not essential/critical health care workers. Our status as health care providers was recognized in May when elective and non-essential medical was allowed to reopen, and LMTs were allowed to return to work in health care settings.

Finally, we have reached out to the Maryland Department of Health for further guidance. At this time the focus is on getting the limited amount of vaccine to critical health care staff at hospitals and residents and caregivers in nursing homes. Please read on below for the full statement.

AMTA-MD cannot advise you about the vaccine or any personal health care matter, and will not be trying to provide updates about access county by county. Please contact your county directly for more information, or speak to your health care provider.

Beyond that -

Happy New Year!

As always, if you have any questions or concerns after reading below, please feel to reply or visit us on Facebook for more of a discussion - our main page is https://www.facebook.com/amtamd

Take good care,

Amelia Mitchell, LMT, LLCC, BCTMB
Board Member and Government Relations Committee Chair
Your AMTA-Maryland Chapter Board
Further guidance from the Maryland Department of Health:

"Maryland has been planning for the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines since early 2020 by working closely with our federal partners. Primary distribution and allocation to the states will be made by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the federal Operation Warp Speed (OWS) effort. Initially, vaccine doses will be shipped directly to vaccination sites based on orders and availability of doses.

"In the first phase, based on the latest federal information and the relative limited availability of the vaccine in December, Maryland will prioritize nursing homes (both staff and residents), and critical healthcare staff at our state’s hospitals. This is in accordance with recommendations from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). The vaccination of long term care facilities are being handled by the federal government directly through partnerships with CVS and Walgreens, who will vaccinate staff and residents at those facilities.
"In Maryland, we are currently focused on the registration of vaccination sites, the distribution and administration of vaccines in Phase 1, storage and handling, and overall communications, including ensuring patient follow-up and second dose reminders. We expect additional updates on increased vaccine production in early 2021 from our federal partners. As we learn more from the federal government, we will adjust our draft vaccination plan (please see page 45) to address other groups in detail. We intend to align with the ACIP recommendations to the extent possible.
"Once vaccines are broadly available with federal approval, and we have vaccinated a significant proportion of our Phase 1 population, we will move to Phase 2.
"We look forward to providing subsequent updates at a later point as we gain more information from the federal government."