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Howard County outlines vaccination plan

Already vaccinating hundreds per day
Posted at 2:51 PM, Jan 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-07 18:13:52-05

COLUMBIA, Md. — They have waited almost 10 months for a vaccine, but for frontline health workers in Howard County, like Kathy Doughty, the wait is finally over.

In the blink of an eye, Doughty received the first shot of Moderna’s vaccine.

With a husband and four children, Doughty couldn’t wait to be vaccinated knowing her work at the Maple Lawn Surgery Center could expose her to the virus.

“There’s always the chance, obviously, that someone… We’ve not had an incident, but, yes, it’s always in the back of your mind of course,” said Doughty.

Doughty is one of 600 people per day receiving vaccinations at the Howard County Health Department, and so far, the county has administered more than 26 hundred vaccines of the 45 hundred that it has received, but Howard County Executive Calvin Ball cautions this is just the beginning.

“To achieve our vaccination goals and to get to herd immunity as quickly as possible, this effort is not only going to need unity, but also education, understanding and patience,” said Ball.

While hospitals in the county are vaccinating their staffs and CVS and Walgreens have contracted with the federal government to cover people in nursing homes, the task that remains for the county is daunting and it hopes to ramp up to seven-days-per-week as the vaccine begins to arrive in greater supply.

“We are hiring and training additional staff and volunteers and we’ll also utilize the talents of Howard County public school nurses to assist at clinics, the National Guard and volunteers when needed,” said Howard County Health Officer Dr. Maura Rossman.

Health leaders say the next group to be vaccinated will include adults over the age of 75, teachers and daycare providers, but they can’t register yet, because it’s too early to determine how much of the vaccine the county will receive in the weeks and months to come.