Wash Co plans for vaccine distribution

HAGERSTOWN, MD – The Washington County Health Department has announced plans to roll out its COVID-19 vaccinations for first responders and health care providers, the two populations identified in the State of Maryland’s highest priority group.

Maryland has been planning for the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines since early 2020 by working closely with federal partners. Primary distribution and allocation to the states will be made by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the federal Operation Warp Speed effort.

In the first phase, based on the latest federal information and relatively limited availability of the vaccine in December, Maryland will prioritize nursing homes (both staff and residents), and critical healthcare staff at the state’s hospitals. This is in accordance with recommendations from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

The vaccination of long-term care facilities is being handled by the federal government directly through partnerships with CVS and Walgreens that will vaccinate staff and residents.

Starting the week of Jan. 4, and pending the arrival of the Moderna vaccine, the Washington County Health Department, in partnership with Meritus Medical Center, will focus initial vaccination efforts for first responders, including law enforcement officers, paramedics, EMTs, firefighters, and crisis teams. The health department is already working with these groups to coordinate the vaccination efforts.

Washington County health care providers not affiliated with a hospital or long-term care facility will be the next group vaccinated.