Last week, during Week-17 of Kent’s COVID-19 vaccination program, the Kent County Health Department received 1,200 COVID-19 vaccines. The allocation broken down is 400 first doses and 600 second doses of the Moderna vaccine, and 200 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Of the Moderna vaccines, 300 first doses and 300 second doses are set aside for the Vaccine Equity Task Force, an initiative to vaccinate the African American community here in Kent.
“The initiative is to deal with vaccine hesitancy,” said Kent County Health Officer William Webb in a brief interview on Monday. He said the initiative is working with church groups in Kent to get African American community to the clinics.
Webb said the initiative will administer 100 first doses a week for the next three weeks followed by three consecutive weeks of second doses beginning four weeks from now.
The health department will also administer 190 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week during Week-18 of Kent’s vaccination program.
Another initiative, separate from Kent’s Week-18 allocation, is a FEMA initiative in partnership with Kent and Cecil counties to vaccinate the immigrant population working in the agricultural community — using the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Webb said there are 1,500 doses available this week at the Warwick Mushroom Farm.
“The goal is to target more rural, difficult-to-serve populations,” Webb said. “The intent is to serve the Spanish-speaking population working in the agricultural community in Cecil and Kent; that includes egg and mushroom farms and the nurseries.”
Webb said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was ideal for the agricultural workers because “they move around a lot,” and getting them back for a second shot in the four-week time window required for a two-shot immunization process may prove difficult.