County Executive Gardner Concerned
By Significant Decline in Vaccination Doses to Frederick County

The number of COVID-19 vaccine doses allocated collectively to the Frederick County Health Department and the Frederick Health Hospital for this week and the next three weeks is significantly lower than prior allocations.  In previous weeks, the Health Department and hospital collectively received between 2,000 and 3,250 first doses.  For the current week and the three weeks that follow, the health department has been allocated 1,300 doses per week and the hospital just 100 doses per week, for a collective total of 1,400 first doses.

“Our local public health system has been doing a stellar job vaccinating the public and operating efficient vaccination clinics,” County Executive Jan Gardner said. “The reduction in the total of first doses to the Frederick County Health Department and our local hospital is disappointing and concerning.  While it appears that vaccine doses have been re-allocated to private sector pharmacies and mass vaccination sites, this is uncertain due to lack of transparency about where doses have been allocated. Two private sector pharmacies have opened vaccination clinics in Frederick County, but it is not clear how many doses have been allocated to them.

“Frederick County as a whole appears to be receiving fewer doses and less than our fair share based on population,” she added. “Unfortunately, many citizens who are eligible to receive a vaccine are choosing to travel to a state mass vaccination site in order to access an appointment.  But there are many people who do not have the ability to drive elsewhere.”

In the 10th week of distribution, vaccine doses have been administered to a total 30,006 Frederick County residents. That equals 11.6% of the population.  Frederick County is currently vaccinating people in 1A and 1B who live or work here, and some people in 1C. Priority is given to people who were born in or before 1947. As the wait list of people who were born in or before 1947 is cleared, appointments are being made available to people who were born in 1948. They will continue moving on to each younger age, down to age 65.

Educators are also a priority for vaccines. The State has required each county to set aside 100 doses a week for the past four weeks. Frederick County has exceeded this requirement by more than 300%. By the end of today, more than 1,300 people within the education priority group will have been vaccinated by the Frederick County Health Department. The State has defined this group to include employees of public and private schools and childcare providers. Every licensed childcare provider in Frederick County has been allocated at least one dose.

Both of the vaccines currently approved for emergency use in the United States require two doses, spaced several weeks apart. The State of Maryland is providing a separate allotment of second doses each week to meet this demand. The Frederick County Health Department received 3,250 doses today that are reserved for people who have already received their first dose.

People in groups 1B and 1C who are eligible for vaccines but have not yet able to schedule appointments with the local health department may want to schedule an appointment with a private pharmacy or mass vaccination clinic. A listing of all available vaccination clinics in Maryland can be found at www.covidvax.maryland.gov.

For the most up to date information on eligibility, visit www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/covidvaccine. If you know someone who was born in 1947 or before without internet access, please encourage them to call 301-600-7900 (English) or 301-600-7905 (Spanish) for vaccination appointment assistance.

 

Jim Castle
Staff Writer Jim Castle