Governors scramble to speed vaccine effort after slow start

In this Jan. 5, 2021, file photo, a health care worker receives a second Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine shot at Beaumont Health in Southfield, Mich. Allegany County officials announced Thursday that injections got underway on Tuesday from an additional 1,400 doses of the Moderna  vaccine that arrived in the county on Monday.

CUMBERLAND — Allegany County officials announced Thursday that injections got underway on Tuesday from an additional 1,400 doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine which arrived in the county on Monday.

Of the latest doses of the vaccine, roughly 170 doses will ultimately be made available to the general public with the focus on seniors 75 years of age and up. The shots for seniors will be the first doses available for the general public in the county.

Jake Shade, president of the Allegany County Board of Commissioners, made the announcement at Thursday’s meeting of the board at the County office complex on Kelly Road.

“I have been speaking to Jenelle Mayer, our (Allegany County) health officer, in regard to the vaccine,” said Shade, “and it’s great news for the area.”

In addition to the arrival of 1,400 doses, Shade said CVS and Walgreens pharmacies have obtained more vaccines for nursing homes which should provide enough doses to cover for all eight of the county’s nursing homes’ first round of vaccinations.

The Moderna vaccine is administered in two shots, three weeks apart, Shade said. The first shot helps the body to recognize the virus and prepares the immune system, according to WebMD, and the second shot strengthens the immune response.

Shade said the 1,400 doses allotted to the county are being given this week and next.

“Of those 1,400 doses, as of this week Tuesday, Jan. 5 through Jan. 9 we will vaccinate 581 people,” said Shade. “The current round includes health care workers, first responders, law enforcement, county correction officers and the judiciary.

“Next week they have 750 appointments for those same people, of those doses we think we have 594 which are already (designated for a recipient). At that point, next week we will put out the press release which will provide the information on how to sign up. An appointment will be needed for people 75 and older to begin receiving the (remaining 170) doses of vaccine.”

Shade said the location for those vaccinations has not yet been determined.

“It will be in a county building but the exact location will be released next week. We will put out a joint release with Allegany County Health Department,” said Shade.

“The other news that we were able to track down, every nursing home in Allegany County will have the vaccine at least the first round from CVS and Walgreens by Monday,” Shade added.

Allegany County initially received 100 doses of the Moderna vaccine in December that were administered to the health care workers who were giving the injections.

Greg Larry is a reporter at the Cumberland Times-News. Follow him on Twitter @GregLarryCTN.

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