LEONARDTOWN, MD– In anticipation of a COVID-19 vaccine, the St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) is coordinating with local partners to ensure a safe and orderly plan for distribution, particularly for vulnerable and at-risk populations.
In alignment with the State of Maryland’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan, St. Mary’s County will follow a phased approach, initially prioritizing populations with the highest risk of developing complications from COVID-19, as well as frontline workers and essential workers.
“Our strong community partnerships have allowed us to prepare aggressively and respond innovatively to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now we are pulling together to ready our community for distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer.
“This pandemic has been hard on all of us, but as a community we have risen to this challenge together. This plan for mass vaccinations is the next step we take toward getting back to normal and I encourage all citizens to continue to follow the guidance from our County Health Department,” said Randy Guy, President, Commissioners of St. Mary’s County.
Plans for local vaccine distribution are being developed by SMCHD in partnership with the St. Mary’s County Department of Emergency Services, St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, St. Mary’s County Public Schools, Maryland State Police, St. Mary’s County Department of Public Works, St. Mary’s County Department of Social Services, MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, the county’s three long-term care facilities, and local Volunteer Fire and EMS Departments.
Phase 1: Vaccination of Critical Populations.Initial COVID-19 vaccination efforts will target those at highest risk of developing complications from COVID-19 and those in critical industries:
- Frontline first responders and health care workers evaluating and caring for COVID-19 patients
- Staff and residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities
- Essential workers, including public safety, education, and staff in congregate living facilities
Phase 2: Vaccination of General Public.Determination of the beginning of Phase 2 will be influenced by a number of factors:
- Availability of COVID-19 vaccine
- Notification by CDC and state authorities that the general public Phase 2 can begin due to sufficient supply
- Achievement of targeted metrics for vaccination of high priority Phase 1 groups
Additional information on the implementation and availability of local COVID-19 vaccine will be shared as it becomes available. For local COVID-19 updates, information and data, please visit www.smchd.org/coronavirus or call the St. Mary’s County Health Department at (301) 475-4330.