After slow start in Maryland, local health officials say COVID-19 vaccinations are picking up speed
MARYLAND – Maryland was slow to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine when it was first made available. But as the weeks go on, local health officials say that process is starting to look more like a well-oiled machine. “There was some hesitancy expressed prior to this vaccine coming out. We weren’t sure if everyone was going to be ready for it, honestly. But it’s been great. Everyone is interested,” said Worcester County Health Department Public Affairs Officer Travis Brown.
Brown says as of Monday, 559 people in the county have been vaccinated. “It’s a unique animal getting all these different vaccine clinics set up. Luckily, here in Worcester I wouldn’t say we’ve faced any unique challenges,” said Brown.
Brown tells 47ABC that group is largely comprised of first responders and health care workers, adding that there’s been a lot of interest from the public. “We’ve been getting tons of calls from our community at large to the COVID call center asking about when those phases will be available – when they can get the vaccine,” said Brown.
Meanwhile the Dorchester County Health Department says as of Monday, 1,119 people were vaccinated in the county. “Our current capacity is 120 per day. We already know how we can get that to 170 per day or 220 per day,” said Deputy Health Officer for the Dorchester County Health Department Dr. Casey Scott.
Right now, Dr. Scott says the focus on the health department is on looking ahead. That means balancing testing and contact tracing with preparing future vaccination distribution. “We’re really doing what we can to balance making sure we’re meeting the needs of the community in these other ways. We’re realizing that vaccination is going to be the priority moving forward,” said Dr. Scott.
But Dr. Scott says there is some optimism to be found, as Dorchester County’s community is also showing great interest in getting vaccinated. “People have been getting their first vaccine and feeling a sense of relief, a sense of joy, and a sense of gratitude. It’s been really exciting to see how excited people are about getting that first shot in,” said Dr. Scott.
Dr. Scott says the Health Department also wants people to fill out a questionnaire if they’re interested in getting the vaccine. She says that way health officials can have enough doses ready. If you’re a Dorchester County resident and would like to fill out the form, click here.