The Kent County Health Department’s vaccination program is winding down as demand for COVID-19 vaccinations in Kent continues to fall rapidly for a second week.
An increase in vaccine supply and wider availability of other venues has resulted in just a trickle of new vaccinations in Kent, said Kent County Health Officer William Webb on Monday.
This week begins Week-22 of the health department’s vaccination program and less than 30 appointments have been scheduled at the Kent County Community Center in Worton.
“We have only 29 appointments scheduled for this week and we have 1,600 doses on hand,” Webb said in an interview. “We asked the state not to send us any more doses this week because our freezer capacity is full and we have enough vaccines for at least three weeks and maybe more. The state can ship more to us any time we need it.”
“It’s better to allocate the doses to where they’re needed at this point,” he said.
Webb said there were 223 second doses scheduled for next week in Week-23. In Week-24 there are 72 second-doses scheduled and only 30 second doses are scheduled for Week 25.
With the scale of the vaccination program shrinking, Webb said the main space for vaccinations in the community center’s gym would be moved to the conference room there — allowing for the resumption of normal programming at the center.
Webb said the health department is offering to make house calls to any organization or business with 10 or more employees. Onsite visits from the health department can be set up by filling out an On-site Vaccine Request Form for Businesses/Organizations located in the “Hot Topics” section of the health department website https://kenthd.org, see figure 1.
Webb said that the health department made a house call to Lamotte Chemical last week and that Dixon Valve was scheduled for onsite vaccinations this week.
The health department will hold a walk-in clinic at the farmers’ market in Chestertown on Saturday, May 15. Webb said no appointment would be required.
Webb said the vaccination program would eventually be moved back to the health department where appointments could be set up with a phone call.
“That’s still a little ways off,” he said. “We want to first get as as much out of the onsite vaccination program as possible.”
Currently Kent’s seven-day infection rate is 2.25 percent compared to the state’s 3.45 percent.
He said 46 percent of Kent’s population has received a first dose and 41 percent of the population here is fully vaccinated.
A year ago this week, Webb reported to the Kent County Commissioners that COVID-19 testing equipment and protective gear for health workers was in short supply and that Kent County had the fourth highest infection rate in the state.
Workers were re-using face shields and masks.
It was also a year ago this week that Gov. Larry Hogan began to ease restrictions and moved the state into Stage 1 of the Maryland Strong Road Map to Recovery Plan, which allowed some retail business to reopen at 50 percent capacity.