Montgomery Co. receive the first doses of COVID-19 vaccine

Health workers in Montgomery County, Maryland, will receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine starting Wednesday.

Health workers in Montgomery County, Maryland, will receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine starting Wednesday, according to the county health official.

Dr. Travis Gayles said the vaccine is on its way to a number of health care facilities in the state. Gayles said the county plans to follow guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to decide who gets the vaccine first.

He said that while limited supply is currently available, Montgomery County is working on plans to distribute the vaccine as soon as doses come in again.

“Rest assured, we have a plan to distribute those vaccines as soon as possible once we receive confirmation of when we will receive the vaccine and what that supply will be,” Gayles said. “Everything we do – especially in the early stages – will be consistent with the guidelines provided at the state level in an effort to create unified, standardized approaches and guidelines for all jurisdictions in the state of Maryland.”

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The province has added information about its distribution plans for the vaccine to its website.

The plan mirrors that of the National Distribution Plan, which divides people into three categories based on the urgency of getting them the vaccine.

  • Phase one: High-risk groups such as primary care workers and nursing home residents. Vaccines will be sent directly from the federal government to hospitals and nursing homes.
  • Phase two: Likely to include people in critical infrastructure functions, including essential non-health and transportation workers, and those at moderately higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease.
  • Phase three: Large scale distribution of the vaccine associated with wide availability to the general population.

Gayles also said all hospitals in Montgomery County received the Pfizer vaccine Wednesday, or will receive it Thursday, and will begin the process of getting it to their staff this week.

Another batch of vaccine allocation to Maryland was given to pharmacies operating with long-term care facilities. Those pharmacies will partner with facilities to distribute and administer the vaccine to their residents and staff, according to Gayles.

“We were notified this morning that that process has already begun to transfer the doses to the pharmacies, and they have already started scheduling appointments with several facilities across the country,” said Gayles. “That process is expected to start in late December or early January.”

The Pfizer vaccine needs two doses to be fully effective, ensuring that those who received one dose before their second are a logistical hurdle.

Gayles said the county will use different digital platforms to keep track of who has received at least one dose and has to return for another second.

He told Montgomery County Council on Tuesday that three of the six hospitals in the county were out of intensive care capacity.

Gayles said hospital leaders had told him on Wednesday morning that their peak capacity was in a better place than it was in the spring, but vigilance is still warranted as hospital admissions are likely to rise in the near future.

“We know that hospital numbers tend to lag behind the cases, and the models we have received from our academic partners and the surveillance of the National Capital Region suggest that we may be facing high levels during the holidays until the end of December and next year, Gayles said.

County Executive Marc Elrich said he has held regular consultations with the Maryland state legislature to ensure they are aware of the struggles facing Montgomery County as pandemic-related closures continue to hit hard. the bottom lines of local businesses.

“I know the controller has called on the governor to delve deeper into their reserves to provide a greater degree of relief to business, and I certainly support his efforts to do that,” said Elrich.

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