“Our demand has dropped significantly for vaccine appointments,” said Kent Health Officer William Webb in an interview Tuesday. “We were once vaccinating hundreds of people per week but at this point we’re seeing a weekly demand of around 25 – 40 first dose…and 30 – 60 second doses total in the county.”
A bustling vaccine operation that began Feb. 10 in the gym at the center slowed to just 16 appointments last week, which were moved to the health department on Lynchburg Street. This is down from a one-week high of 1,049 doses administered in February.
As a result of falling demand, operations on the gym floor at the center will move to the kitchen and the meeting room there through June, Webb said. He said there was one more clinic scheduled for 72 second doses.
“Effective July 1 most vaccination activities will be integrated with our regular clinical services at the health department,” he said.
With current inventory very high the health department has asked for only 66 new doses from the state since May 3.
At the same time, the Pfizer vaccine is now available to the health department here and is being held in inventory in ultra cold freezers at University of Maryland Shore Regional Health in Easton — until the health department requests the doses.
Once the Pfizer vaccine is removed from ultra cold storage it can last up to 30 days in regular refrigeration.
The Pfizer vaccines are slated for Kent’s youth population ages 12-17. Webb said 25 appointments have been made so far for 40 available slots on June 1 at the health department on Lynchburg Street.
The following day, Wednesday, June 2, first and second doses of Moderna will also be available at Lynchburg Street by appointment — and also on a walk-in basis, Webb said. He said walk-ins should still call ahead for availability.
“Anyone and everyone who needs a vaccination can get one,” Webb said. “Our refrigerators are full and we have ample vaccines available.”
Webb said the need for COVID-19 vaccinations “will be around for years” and the health department will provide the clinical services to address the need.
The tally for those in Kent receiving a first dose approached 60 percent and those who are fully immunized have just passed 50 percent.