Residents who want to be vaccinated against the coronavirus should register now.
Frederick, Md (KM) “Frustrating” is how Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner describes the vaccination process. During her public information briefing on Thursday, Gardner said the local supply of COVID-19 vaccine is not keeping pace with demand. “The biggest challenge we have in this whole vaccine distribution is the lack of available vaccine,” she said. “Doses have been arriving more slowly than any of us want.”
This week, Gardner says, the Health Department received 3,250 first doses, bringing the total amount of 10,850. “We are getting 100% of that out every week the week we receive it. And we do have over 33,000 people who have registered for vaccine or pre-register on our vaccine interest form.”
County residents who want to the vaccine must register. But when they register, they will not be scheduled to receive the vaccine. They will be placed on a list, and will be contacted when it’s time for them to be vaccinated.
Gardner said every dose that’s shipped to the county does not go to waste. “In Frederick County, we administer every single dose we receive within the week we receive it. Nothing is going to waste . And we’re not holding back any supply for any reason,” she said.
Currently, the County is administering the vaccine to those in Group 1A, which includes healthcare workers, and first responders such as police officers, fire fighters and medics. Gardner says those 75 and older are the top priority because they are most susceptible to COVID-19. “I have received a lot of frustration from people under the age of 75 about the fact that we are focused on people over 75. And they are the group at highest risk for death. I really feel we want to make sure we protect these people who are our parents and our grandparents,” says Gardner.
She asked residents to be patient. “We are getting through that group, and we will be able, hopefully, to get some other groups in the next couple of weeks,” says Gardner. “But, again, it our focus. And it’s the state’s focus as well.”
Right now, there are two vaccine clinics in Frederick city. “We do have in the works some other vaccination locations outside the city of Frederick, as well as the drive-though option,” says Health Officer Dr. Barbara Brookmyer. “At this time, with the limited number of doses that we have, its most efficient to operate the two locations at this time.”
For those who want to register to receive the vaccine, they can go on line. If they don’t have access to the internet, residents can call 301-600-7900; Spanish speakers can call 301-600-7905.
Also during her news conference, County Executive Gardner corrected some statistics she gave out last week about COVID-19 cases at the Adult Detention Center. She said at that time there had been five staff and 43 inmates who contracted the virus. “The number of inmates who have tested positive never exceeded 12. So that information has now been updated and corrected on the state dashboard. And over the past few weeks, the Detention Center had a total of six staff and 12 inmate with COVID. But I’ve been assured that there are no current cases,” she said.
By Kevin McManus