Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner said Thursday that her Maryland jurisdiction is “ready” to get more people vaccinated against COVID-19 but lamented the limited supply.
“Certainly, distributing vaccines is our top priority. It’s job number one; it is our path to beating the virus,” Gardner said, adding that distribution will take months.
“And, from my standpoint, the limitation there is the fact that we have a very, very limited supply of doses of vaccine. So, this is our last big fight against the virus. So, I am asking everybody to do your part to stay strong to hold the line against the virus.”
Gardner said the total number of doses the county has received so far is 9,925, some of which are follow-up shots.
“You can see that that reflects a very limited supply of vaccine. So, I want to stress that we don’t always know when we will be receiving vaccine each week,” Gardner said.
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A lack of “predictable” vaccine dose delivery complicates the ability to schedule people for shots, according to Gardner, who added that Gov. Larry Hogan is set to speak Thursday at 5 p.m. on the state’s vaccination plan, “but we do not yet know what he will announce.”
“So, what I do want you to know is that Frederick County is ready; we are ready to distribute the vaccine,” she said. “And, again, the challenge is limited supply of vaccine.”
Health Officer Dr. Barbara Brookmyer said getting text alerts is one way county residents can stay on top of vaccine rollout developments and scheduling.
“If you text FREDCOVID19 to 888777, then you can get alerts to when we’ve updated our website with additional information on vaccine,” Brookmyer said. “We also encourage people to check our website if they’re not using the text option.”
Frederick County is currently vaccinating Group 1A, which includes first responders, nursing home residents and staff, front-line judiciary staff, and all health care providers who are licensed, registered and certified in Maryland who live or work in Frederick County.
As of Thursday, there are 13,836 coronavirus cases in Frederick County, and 209 residents have died.
As with the rest of the D.C. region and the U.S., infections and deaths are on the rise.
“Those who checked the statistics every day will have really noticed something very concerning this week,” Gardner said. “On Tuesday, we saw a single-day increase in confirmed cases that was almost triple that of any other day in the pandemic.”
“Again, I’m reminding people to wear your masks, to watch your distance, to stay 6 feet apart, or even when you’re indoors, 10 feet apart, wash your hands,” Gardner said. “There is widespread virus in our community. So, it’s important that people take these precautions — these are all within your control.”