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Washington County Vaccination Update: January 20, 2021

Washington County Vaccination Update: January 20, 2021

VACCINATION UPDATE
 
***Timelines are subject to change depending on multiple factors, including vaccine availability***
 
Over the past week, more than 7,000 interest forms were submitted to Meritus Health from senior community members to receive their COVID-19 vaccine. Meritus has started reaching out to those on the list to schedule available appointments. As the vaccine supply remains very limited, so do available appointments. For those who have filled out the form, it may take several weeks to receive a call from Meritus to schedule your appointment. We are asking all to please be patient as we work through the phases to schedule the priority groups as quickly and safely as possible.
 
These numbers will continue to grow as the State allows for people age 65 and older, public health and safety workers not covered in Phase 1A, and essential workers in lab services, food and agriculture production, manufacturing, the U.S. Postal Service, public transit, and grocery stores to begin registering on January 25th.
 
We ask for your patience as it may take months to get through these priority groups. There are plans to increase options for vaccines in pharmacies and health care provider options, which over time will give people more choices.
 
Beginning January 25th, the following Martin’s locations will provide vaccinations to those who are eligible.
 
  • 1729 Dual Highway, Hagerstown, MD 21740
  • 18726 N. Pointe Drive, Hagerstown, MD 21742
 
More information for appointments at these two locations will be provided as it becomes available. Please continue to check https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/maryland-retail-vaccination-sites for updates on these two vaccination locations.
 
While you wait, we hope you will take the time to review the information below.
 
Second Dose Process
While vaccine supply continues to remain very limited, we expect to receive enough doses each week to provide second doses to people who have already received their first dose. Meritus is administering both the Pfizer vaccines they have received and the Moderna vaccines the Health Department has been given. It is recommended that those who receive the Pfizer vaccine receive their second dose within at least 21 days after the first dose. For those who receive the Moderna vaccine, it is recommended the second dose is given at least 28 days after the first dose.
 
Other vaccine products may be used in the future, so it is important that you refer to your “CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card” when making a second dose appointment to match the manufacturer of your first dose. At this time, second dose appointments are being scheduled when you receive the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
 
Waiting for First Dose Appointments
If you have registered to get vaccinated and already have an appointment scheduled to receive your first dose, please keep your appointment. There is adequate vaccine supply for appointments that have already been scheduled.
 
If you have already registered to get vaccinated but have not received an appointment, please note the following:
  • First of all, do not worry. Vaccinating you is our priority and we will do so based on scheduling and supply availability.
  • Meritus will call you to schedule an appointment when additional vaccines are available. Appointments are being released as supply becomes available.
  • You will remain registered for your vaccination and do not need to re-submit your information.
  • Even though more groups are becoming eligible for vaccination, all appointments are being scheduled in the order that they are received. This means that adults age 75 and older who have already registered will have priority over those who register in the future.
 
If you have questions, here are some options:
 
  • For information about the vaccine itself, it is recommended you see the FDA’s dedicated web pages on the vaccine: Moderna | Pfizer-BioNtech
  • For local vaccine information, please see our vaccine website.
  • There is not currently a dedicated phone line or system for you to check on your appointment status. We ask that you please be patient as appointments are released as vaccine quantity and scheduling allows. Generally, this is occurring weekly, but it might be more or less frequent depending on supply.
  • If you have not registered to receive your vaccine yet, please read about the registration process at Meritus Health.
 
*Please note that ALL vaccinations are by appointment only. Walk-ins are not accepted at this time.*
 
**Vaccinations can only be administered by the rate at which they are received from the state and the federal government. 
PLEASE BE PATIENT as the County and Meritus Health work to vaccinate individuals that fall within Phase 1A and Phase 1B over the next few weeks.**
 
PHASE 1B: Currently On-going
 
  • All licensed, registered and certified health care providers
  • Front line hospital staff
  • Nursing home residents and staff
  • Assisted living, independent living, & other congregate facilities
  • Law enforcement and firefighters, EMS
  • Education staff, including K-12 teachers, support staff & daycare providers
  • Correctional health care staff and officers
  • Front line judiciary staff
  • Continuity of government
  • Adults age 75 and older
 
ASSISTED LIVING FACILITIES & OTHER CONGREGATE FACILITIES
The vaccination of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and congregate living facilities are being coordinated by pharmacies through a federal contract. However, in an effort to assist in vaccinating these vulnerable populations sooner, the Washington County Health Department is working to vaccinate certain local congregate living facilities. Facilities will be contacted by the health department on how staff and residents can schedule their appointments.
 
ADULTS 75 AND OLDER
Those who are 75 years and older can schedule an appointment with Meritus Health. Information to register for an appointment can be found below.
 
NOTE: Appointments are only made available when additional supplies of vaccine come from the state.
 
  1. MyChart patient portal – Have an active account? County residents age 75 and older may self-schedule as appointments become available. The easiest and fastest way to schedule your appointment.
  2. County residents 75 and older who have previously received services from Meritus Health practices, the hospital, etc. – If your email address is on file, you will receive an activation code to open a MyChart account to self-schedule as appointments are made available.
  3. NEW online form here: www.MeritusHealth.com/covidvaccine. If you are a Washington County resident age 75 and older, fill it in, submit it and wait for a call to be scheduled for an appointment. Yes – If you know someone who wants to be scheduled for a vaccine appointment and is a county resident age 75 and older, fill in and submit the form for him/her. NOTE: With an expected high volume of forms being submitted, the call to schedule an appointment could take up to several weeks.
 
EDUCATION & CONTINUITY OF GOVERNMENT
The health department and Meritus Health are working together to plan for the vaccination of WCPS employees, government employees, and staff at non-public schools. Information regarding vaccination appointments and additional details will come from the employer for this grouping.
 
As the health department receives more allocations of the vaccine, clinics will be expanded to the other groups identified in phase 1B such as daycare providers, high-risk inmates, and developmentally disabled populations.
 
Once the health department has scheduled the priority groups listed above, more information on registering to be vaccinated will be announced. All updates will be located on the County’s website at https://www.washco-md.net/coronavirus-info/vaccine. The public can also stay updated from the state by signing up for 211 alerts by texting “MdReady” to 898-211.
 
PHASE 1C: Begins January 25, 2021
 
  • Maryland residents ages 65 to 74
  • Public health and safety workers not covered in Phase 1A
  • Essential workers in lab services, food and agriculture production, manufacturing, the U.S. Postal Service, public transit, and grocery stores.
 
PILOT PROGRAM WITH GIANT AND WALMART PHARMACIES
The State of Maryland is launching a pilot program for COVID-19 vaccines to be administered at Giant and Walmart pharmacies beginning the week of January 25. This initial program will be available at 22 Giant locations across the state, three Martin’s locations in Allegany and Washington counties, as well as 10 Walmart locations in Western Maryland and on the Eastern Shore. As the federal allocation of vaccines increases, the state will bring more pharmacies and more locations online. Specifics on clinic locations will be released in the near future. Stay updated on this program at https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/maryland-retail-vaccination-sites.
 
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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