Kent County Health Officer William Webb

The Kent County Health Department launched Phase 1A of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plan on Tuesday — administering the first available vaccines for first responders and front-line workers in nursing care facilities.

Nearly 100 doses were administered.

“People who are exposed on a regular basis…have top priority,” said Kent County Health Officer William Webb, who also received his first vaccination shot on Tuesday.  Health department workers are including among Phase 1A vaccine recipients.

The local health department here is currently administering the Moderna vaccine,  which requires two shots given 28 days apart. Residents will be notified by email or phone when it’s time to return to the health department for the second shot.

Webb said 600 additional doses were now in the county’s inventory and that after Phase 1A is complete Phase 1B will focus on adults 65 or older and those with underlying medical conditions that put them at “greater risk of developing severe disease if they get infected.” 

He said Kent’s vaccination process will follow state guidelines and the CDC’s Advisory Council on Immunization Practices.

Webb said that residents should get vaccinated as soon as possible when their turn comes.

“It is a safe and effective product that will protect not only you but the people around you,” he said.

After the first shot, an envelope is provided to the recipient with information from the vaccine maker and instructions on how to monitor potential adverse reactions through an app installed on a cell phone. There is also a number to call if using an app is impractical.  A CDC vaccination record card is also provided following the first shot.

Phase 2 will target the general population once Phase 1 is complete.

Webb said that supplies will come online in quantities adequate to get everyone in Kent vaccinated by the end of May.