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Washington County Vaccination Update: February 10, 2021

Washington County Vaccination Update: February 10, 2021

VACCINATION UPDATE
 
VACCINE AVAILABILITY
Over 20,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Washington County, but there we still have a long way to go. Washington County has been informed that the anticipated allotment of the vaccine has been drastically reduced this week. This directly impacts the number of vaccines available to offer. The demand for vaccines across the state continues to be far greater than the supply.  Adults ages 65 and older continue to be the priority for receiving vaccination appointment slots as they become available. 
 
Currently, the waitlist for this group in Washington County is approximately 20,000 people.
 
Vaccine appointments are only scheduled once supplies are received from the state of Maryland to avoid having cancellations. If you are among the thousands who are still on the call list to be scheduled, this limited vaccine supply will now mean an even greater wait for you. Please note: If you have already received the first dose of the vaccine, you will still be able to receive your second dose as scheduled.
 
The Washington County Health Department has the following updates on Nursing homes, assisted living, independent living, and congregate living facilities:
 
Through federal contracts, CVS and Walgreens have completed vaccination clinics at nursing homes across the state and have begun scheduling vaccination clinics for assisted living and congregate living facilities.
 
In an effort to assist in vaccinating these vulnerable populations quickly, the Washington County Health Department has been working with the Maryland Department of Health to provide vaccination clinics to certain congregate living facilities in Washington County, MD.
 
The Washington County Health Department has held several vaccination clinics for local congregate living facilities. As of today February 10, 2021, the Health Department has held clinics for the following facilities:
 
  • Potomac Towers
  • Walnut Towers
  • The Arc of Washington County
  • Human Development Council
  • United Community Connections
  • Way Station Inc.
  • CW Brooks
  • Star Community
 
If you are a current resident or staff at a congregate facility, please reach out to your facility’s management for more information on vaccination clinics and how to schedule your appointment. As weekly allocations of the vaccine are received, the health department is working to schedule more congregate living facilities.
 
The Washington County Health Department is also working with the Washington County Commission on Aging under the direction of the Maryland Department of Health to identify independent living facilities in Washington County and will be working to schedule vaccination clinics at these facilities.
 
Educators
Under the direction of the Maryland Department of Health, local health departments must reserve 100 doses of their weekly vaccine allocations to vaccinate private and public school educators and daycare providers. Meritus Health is currently using a portion of its vaccine allocation to vaccinate public school staff. The health department has started to vaccinate non-public school employees. The health department can only schedule 100 appointments per week for this priority group, as seniors and those living in congregate living facilities are the priority. It will take several weeks to schedule all private school and childcare staff. If your facility has not been contacted yet, please be patient, as vaccine availability is still very limited. In the meantime, management should gather a list of employees who are interested in receiving the vaccine, so that when they are contacted by the health department there will be an accurate count of those needing appointments, which will help streamline the process.
 
Washington County remains in Phase 1C. Priority groups 1A, 1B, and 1C are eligible to receive vaccines in Washington County. Priority group 1C includes the following individuals who are eligible for vaccination:
 
  • All adults over the age of 65
  • Food and agricultural workers
  • U.S. Postal Service workers
  • Grocery/Convenience store workers
  • Public and private transit workers
  • Manufacturing workers
  • Veterinarians and their support staff
  • Members of clergy and others deemed essential support for houses of worship
  • Everyone in Priority Groups 1A and 1B
  • Individuals who are currently hospitalized AND diagnosed with the following criteria are eligible to receive vaccine in Phase 1C:
  • Cancer patients who are currently in active treatment
  • End-stage renal disease patients requiring hemodialysis
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), especially those who are oxygen-dependent or are steroid-dependent
  • Solid organ transplant recipients
  • Sickle cell disease patients
  • Diabetic patients (Type 1 and Type 2)
 
Individuals who are diagnosed with these medical conditions but are not currently hospitalized will be eligible to receive the vaccine in Maryland’s Phase 2 COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
 
Maryland Department of Health is requiring local health departments to prioritize older adults aged 65 and up for vaccination appointment slots, as they become available.
 
  • Thousands of people on the call list means it will take several weeks before you are contacted to schedule a vaccination appointment
  • Please be patient and refrain from contacting the Health Department and Meritus to receive a status update on where you are on the waitlist and when you will be able to schedule your appointment
  • You will receive a phone call to schedule an appointment. If you are in Phase 1A, 1B, or 1C priority groups and have completed an online form on either Meritus Health, MyChart, or the Health Department, you are on the call list.
 
We understand that being placed on a call list is not ideal, but please rest assured that you will be called when vaccine availability and capacity allows.
 
There is also a priority to administer the second dose of vaccination for first responders, health care workers, and other members of Priority Group 1A and 1B that received their first dose in January. For those who have received the first vaccination dose, a second dose must be administered for maximum effectiveness for the vaccine.
 
Washington County has launched a Senior COVID Vaccine Call List Assistance Hotline. This toll-free hotline is ONLY for seniors 65 and older who do not have internet access and need assistance signing up for the COVID-19 vaccine call list form.
 
Senior COVID-19 Vaccine Call List Assistance Hotline:
1-833-231-1852
 
If you are 65 and older and have completed a vaccination appointment request form online, please know that you are on the call list. To receive additional information, you can call the COVID-19 Vaccine Information Hotline at 1-833-285-2804 to receive the latest updates.
 
Regular updates will be posted on the Washington County Government website at https://www.washco-md.net/coronavirus-info/vaccine/ and social media platforms. 
 
The public can also stay updated from the state by signing up for 211 alerts by texting “MdReady” to 898-211 
 
For additional information, please contact the Public Relations and Marketing Department at 240-313-2380 or [email protected].
 
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