Maryland’s COVID-19 vaccination plan has been slow and only 2 percent of the state’s population has received the first in a series of two shots required for full inoculation from the virus.
Kent is doing a little better than the state, reporting that 3.6 percent of the population has received the first dose. A second booster shot is required no later than 28 days from receiving the first, said Kent County Health Officer William Webb at Tuesday’s meeting of the Kent County Commissioners.
With a 28-day window to receive the second dose, Kent County Commissioner President Tom Mason asked Webb if a shortage could prevent second doses from being administered on time.
“We have been assured that when the time comes that we will get sufficient doses to meet those who’ve” already been vaccinated,” he said, responding to Mason.
Webb said there’s been anxiety in the community about the availability of vaccines in the days and weeks ahead.
“So the big question…that we are fielding is ‘when can I get the vaccine,’” Webb said. “We are fielding a ton of calls.”
Webb said the vaccine supply, adequate staffing and events beyond the control of health officials in the county, such as inclement weather and civil unrest, will determine the pace of the vaccine program.
Currently the state is in Phase 1A for healthcare workers, first responders and nursing home staff — and vaccine appointments are by invitation only. Webb said the vaccine is currently in short supply and that priorities could change at the state level.
“We’re getting allocations once a week from Maryland Department of Health,” he said. “The number of doses will vary depending on how much the state gets and where MDH decides where their priorities are.”
Phase 1B is scheduled to begin in late January and will cover assisted living facilities, adults age 74 and older and infrastructure workers in county government and the school system.
Phase 1C is scheduled for early March and will focus on workers classified as “essential” and adults between 65-74.
All the tiers in Phase 1 are scheduled for completion by early March. Phase 2 is scheduled for “early spring” Webb said and is for ages 16-64 and those with increased risk of complications because of pre-existing conditions.
Phase 3 will be for the general population, defined as healthy adults between the ages of 16 and 64. Webb said the timeline for Phase 3 is TBD.