A COVID-19 vaccine is administered to a nursing home resident December 23, 2020. (Maryland GovPics)

Maryland’s local health departments will receive more than $114.2 million to help fund COVID-19 vaccination efforts, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Thursday.

The funds will help support the equitable access and distribution of vaccines, Hogan said.

“As the state begins mass vaccination, and continues to expand the distribution network of vaccinators, county health departments will play a critical role in our focus on hard-to-reach areas and underserved populations,” Hogan said in a statement.

Maryland will open its first two mass vaccination sites on Friday at the Six Flags America in Prince George’s County and the Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital in Baltimore City.

The state plans to open at least six mass vaccination sites across the state, Hogan announced Jan. 26. In addition to the two locations opening Friday, the state also plans to open mass vaccination sites at M&T Bank Stadium and yet-to-be-named locations in eastern, western and southern Maryland.

Maryland is distributing funds for COVID-19 vaccination activities to its 24 jurisdictions based on each jurisdiction’s population in proportion to the state’s total population.

Of the total $114.3 million that will be awarded for COVID-19 vaccination, Baltimore City will receive $11.2 million.

The Hogan administration also plans to submit a supplemental budget request to the General Assembly for $9 million to help local health departments recover from deficits related to closing fee-for-service clinics.

The funds would be awarded as grants to health departments that have reported a shortfall, with $31,000 slated for Baltimore City’s health department if the request is approved.

Maryland health officials on Thursday reported that the state had administered 601,914 doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are administered in two doses — a primer and a booster — for maximum effectiveness. Maryland providers have administered a total of 486,106 first doses and 115,808 second doses.

Maryland is administering an average of 21,714 vaccine doses per day. That rate is up 64% from two weeks ago, state officials said.

Maryland has used 57 percent of its vaccine doses, according to the New York Times vaccine tracker, which ranked Maryland 38th among the states for usage of available doses.

Marcus Dieterle is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. He returned to Baltimore in 2020 after working as the deputy editor of the Cecil Whig newspaper in Elkton, Md. He can be reached at marcus@baltimorefishbowl.com...