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Washington County Vaccination Update: February 4, 2021

Washington County Vaccination Update: February 4, 2021

VACCINATION UPDATE
 
VACCINE AVAILABILITY
Over 16,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Washington County, but we still have a long way to go. Washington County continues to receive weekly vaccination allocations, but the current supply is not nearly enough to meet the demand. Please note that adults aged 65 and up 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 21,000 people.
 
Meritus Health has enough second doses in supply to finish administering them to individuals who have received their first shot, but they are not proceeding with scheduling additional first shot appointments beyond this week until additional supply of the second shots has been received.
 
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.
 
On January 25, 2021, the Washington County Health Department began holding vaccination clinics for local congregate living facilities. As of today February 3, 2021, the Health Department has held clinics for the following facilities:
 
  • The Arc of Washington County
  • Human Development Council
  • United Community Connections
  • Way Station Inc.
  • CW Brooks
 
Over the next several weeks the Health Department will be at the following facilities:
 
  • Potomac Towers
  • Walnut Towers
  • Star Community
  • Living Sands
 
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 we receive our weekly allocations of the vaccine, the health department is working to schedule more congregate living facilities in the coming weeks.
 
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 been reaching out to private schools to begin scheduling their staff for appointments starting next week. The health department can only schedule 100 appointments per week for this priority group as we are also required to prioritize our seniors and those living in congregate living facilities. It will take several weeks to schedule all private school and childcare staff. If your facility has not been contacted yet, we ask that you 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 we will have an accurate count of those needing appointments and help us streamline our processes.
 
Washington County 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.
 
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
 
Additional groups have been added to 1C and beginning February 1, 2021, are now eligible to receive vaccinations. Those include:
 
  • 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.
 
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 pr@washco-md.net.
 
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