Montgomery County Health, Human Services Receives Moderna Vaccine

Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) received its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines, manufactured by Moderna, on Wednesday morning.

According to a county news release, this first shipment of vaccines is reserved for county health staffers who are engaged in managing the coronavirus response—including Montgomery County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles.

“The first group to receive the vaccine in Montgomery County is the core team of public health clinicians who will become responsible for vaccinating residents across the County once additional vaccine arrives,” the news release says.

The vaccines arrived from the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) and it is a small fraction of the supply the county is expecting. Montgomery County DHHS expects to have more information about how much the county will receive and when once MDH receives the vaccine from the federal government.

Montgomery County will prioritize vaccine distribution based on guidance that Gov. Larry Hogan outlined for all the county.

  • Group 1A includes frontline health care workers, nursing home staff and residents, and first responders;
  • Group 1B includes essential workers and residents older than 75;
  • Group 1C includes individuals over the age of 65.

Montgomery County DHHS will determine the precise order as to who in group 1A receives the vaccine first based on the number of vaccines that the county receives.

The second group that will be prioritized in Maryland include “people in critical, essential infrastructure roles as well as those people at moderately higher risk of severe illness.”

Once people in the initial priority groups are vaccinated, the general public will have a chance to receive their vaccinations. The county news release says this could occur sometime in spring 2021.

In a statement, Dr. Gayles reiterated the safety of the coronavirus vaccines.

“​I think the vaccines are safe, and are a new tool to help alleviate the burden of COVID-19 in our communities, particularly in those communities hit disproportionately,” Gayles said. “I want to be candid and transparent in sharing my experience with the vaccine to help address any concerns, questions, or anxiety around receiving it.”

Where there’s an adequate supply of vaccines in the county, in addition to being available at county vaccine clinics, “there will be additional places to get vaccinated, including physician’s offices and other primary care providers.”

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