One of the most frequently talked about issues today is the COVID-19 vaccine. The number of vaccines distributed to the state has been less than anticipated and many in the public are scrambling to get an appointment.
Maryland’s vaccine supply remains extremely limited. Approximately only 10,000 first does per day are received from the federal government. This must be distributed across all 24 counties and Baltimore City. I spoke this week to Senator Van Hollen’s and Senator Cardin’s offices and stressed the need to increase the number of vaccines we are getting in Southern Maryland and the State.
According to the MDH, as of January 31st, 535,638 first and second dose vaccinations have been given to Marylanders. Locally, the percentage of the population who have received the first dose of the vaccine in Calvert is 9.4% and in St. Mary’s is 9.7%.
Both Local Health Departments are working to get the vaccines out as soon as they receive them. Unfortunately, the number of vaccines delivered weekly fluctuates and each week's delivery total is given just days before scheduled appointments. This makes planning a challenge. Both agencies are doing a great job educating the public, responding to questions and coordinating testing and vaccines.
Although our state has moved to the 1C category, our local health departments are still working to vaccinate the 1A and 1B categories.
Calvert County has set up a pre-registration system for anyone 18 and older interested in receiving the vaccination: https://www.calvertcountymd.gov/Vaccine. Those in the appropriate category eligible for the vaccine, will be notified by the Health Department and instructed on how to make the appointment.
St. Mary’s County publishes available appointments on its website on Friday afternoons under the heading “Clinic Registration”: www.smchd.org/covid-19-vaccine . Individuals in 1A and 1B may make appointments using the link provided. St. Mary’s residents 65 and older may contact the Department of Aging (301) 475-4200, ext. 1049 to request call back assistance with registering for an appointment. Businesses in the 1C occupational category are asked to register separately using a link on the website.
Last week, local pharmacies began offering appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine. The Giant in Dunkirk and the Giant in California are both offering appointments. As the list expands, other locations can be found on this website by entering your zip code: https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/vaccine#locator
Regardless of the location you choose, please be patient. Many people are trying to get appointments and the supply is extremely limited. Expect it to take more time.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact my office.