Amid the shortage of COVID-19 vaccine doses in Kent, there continues to be frustration making appointments through the health department’s website at www.kenthd.org.
Kent County Health Officer William told the Kent Commissioners on Jan. 19 that Kent County had the capacity to administer 1,000 doses per week, but was only receiving a 500-600 dose allocation from the state.
“This means we’re about 500 doses a week short of what we’re capable of providing,” he said in a followup interview on Friday.
Webb said there was a direct relation between the current vaccine shortage and the ability to make appointments.
He said the health department only makes appointments based on available doses in the inventory, not capacity to provide the shots. He said it would result in poor customer service to overbook appointments.
Currently, any Kent resident trying to make an appointment must provide information online — navigating through seven forms — to be approved for an appointment. At the end of the process residents often learn that there is no availability.
The online appointment system does not save a resident’s information in order to schedule an appointment at a later date, it simply purges the information on the seven forms. This means starting all over again at another time in the hope there’s an available slot.
This is a statewide problem, not just a problem in Kent. All 24 jurisdictions use Marylandvax.org to schedule appointments based on availability in the jurisdiction. But the availability indicated on the state website is not always accurate.
Currently, the state website indicates there is one slot available at the Galena Fire House, but an official with the Kent County Health Department said Friday that they’ve received over 300 calls this week for that one slot — and that there is currently no availability there.
Webb said Tuesday the supply would eventually meet demand, and there would be wider availability of vaccines.