The following information was released via social media by the Howard County Health Department on February 1st:

Dear Howard County Community:

It’s been 5 weeks since Maryland began receiving COVID-19 vaccine. As of today, HCHD has administered 15,283 first doses to our community, utilizing our entire vaccine supply. Last week we expanded our vaccine operations to Howard Community College (HCC) to increase our capacity. Working collaboratively with partners including HC Government, HCPSS, and volunteers, 5,660 first doses were administered at HCC to those in Priority Groups 1A and 1B. This included healthcare workers, seniors 75 and older, adults with developmental disabilities, PreK – 12 educators, and childcare providers. This was an incredible feat accomplished in a very small amount of time and ahead of a major snowstorm.

We hoped supply would gradually increase so that we could vaccinate more people each week. According to the Governor, distribution from the CDC to Maryland remains stagnant. Over the past several weeks Maryland Department of Health (MDH) has begun distributing vaccine to additional providers to increase access points for vaccination. These providers include retail pharmacies, hospitals and large group practices such as Kaiser Permanente. We learned last night, that through the Federal Pharmacy Partnership Part B, Assisted Living Facilities will begin vaccination this week. Howard County Health Department (HCHD) has no control over how these organizations prioritize vaccine nor schedule appointments. As MDH distributes vaccine to additional organizations, local health departments can expect to receive less until vaccine supply significantly increases.

This week, HCHD was allotted 2000 doses of vaccine, (dose #1). This is a 66% reduction from last week. We hope to receive the vaccine shipment tomorrow. Based upon this information and weather considerations we have made the following plans for this week:

  • Second dose clinics scheduled for today and tomorrow have been rescheduled for Wednesday at HCC. All people scheduled for these clinics have been notified to come to HCC at their original appointed time but on Wednesday.
  • Tuesday, weather permitting, HCHD will host a small vaccine clinic for adults with Developmental Disabilities at Ascend One.
  • Thursday and Friday, Priority Group 1B, educators Pre-K – 12 and childcare providers will be offered vaccine utilizing the 2000 doses to be received this week. HCPSS staff will be registered by HCPSS. Private school staff and childcare providers will be registered by HCHD.
  • We continue to remind people scheduled for clinics to arrive no earlier than 10 minutes prior to their appointment time.

We know the amount of vaccine is insufficient for the 200,000 residents who have preregistered with us. We continue to advocate for additional doses and are continuously revising plans based upon the expansion of Priority Groups by the Governor and changes to our allotment. While vaccine remains limited, community members may want to reach out to the retail pharmacies, hospitals and Kaiser to assess their availability.

Thank you for your patience.

Maura J. Rossman, MD

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See this release online here:  https://www.howardcountymd.gov/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=y4htixCYA4M%3d&tabid=1093&portalid=0

Scott E