Vaccines and Vetoes - Your Update from the State Capital
February 4, 2021
The 2021 Session of the Maryland House of Delegates is already off to an incredibly busy start! My days are spent meeting with constituency groups and listening to their priorities, attending hearings in the Economic Matters Committee, testifying about my sponsored legislation, meeting with the Howard County Delegation and more -- all virtually!
Next week I will be in Annapolis on the House Floor as Delegates begin deliberation on Governor Hogan's vetoes from the 2020 session. Among these is the Blueprint for Maryland's Future, and despite its passing in both the House and Senate last year, there will surely be more discussion.
Vaccine distribution continues to be the biggest issue of concern with District 9B (and all Maryland residents). Please see below for more on this important topic.
As always, feel free to reach out if you have a question or concern.
Delegate Courtney Watson
Howard County District 9B
Member, Economic Matters Committee
Maryland House of Delegates
6 Bladen Street, Room 350
Annapolis, MD 21401
410-841-3077 / 301-858-3077
A Word About Vaccines
There is no question that for many who are now eligible, getting a COVID-19 vaccine has proven to be frustrating. As you've probably read, the main issue is low supply. When vaccination was opened up to new groups, there weren't the coordinating number of vaccines available to adequately serve those populations. Additionally, Howard County recently had its expected number of vaccines reduced as the state began dividing the vaccine between county health departments, hospitals, and pharmacies. Some points to consider:
Supply is low and has been further reduced to local health departments as allocations are more spread out. Supply is insufficient for the 200,000 Howard County residents who have preregistered with the Howard County Health Department so far. While vaccine remains limited, Howard County Health Officer Maura Rossman suggests that community members may want to reach out to the retail pharmacies, hospitals or Kaiser Permanente to assess vaccine availability.
Despite the State moving into Phase 1C, it will take Howard County a number of weeks to vaccinate the remaining numbers from group 1B. Nevertheless, residents in Group 1C may preregister at this time. You can see details on who is included in which phases, preregister, and get answers to other questions here.
The Federal Government has heard the pleas coming from the state and local leaders who have been advocating for more vaccine, and 200 million doses of the vaccine have recently been ordered to be distributed in the coming weeks and months.
The state will soon open a series of mass vaccination sites to serve eligible residents. The first sites are set to open at the Baltimore Convention Center and Six Flags America in Prince George’s County. Announcements will be made as appointments become available. Once operational, these sites will be open to all Marylanders. The first of these sites is slated to open February 5th.
At this time, I encourage you to take advantage of all vaccine options available through state and local agencies and organizations. Some guidance, if you are eligible to receive the vaccine (currently Groups 1A and 1B in Howard County):
Preregister with the Howard County Health Department here.
Call the Howard County Health Department at 410-313-6284 if you need assistance pre-registering. Be patient, call volumes are extremely high.
Once you have completed the pre-registration you will be contacted to schedule an appointment when there is vaccine supply available. Be mindful that this may take days or weeks. Anyone who attempts to go to a clinic without a valid appointment will be turned away.
Be ready to go as soon as you are notified - check your email often.
Once the state mass vaccination sites are open, you can register to go to any of these six sites. Appointments are necessary and you can register through MarylandVax.org once they are open. A tutorial on registering with MarylandVax.org can be found here. Those without computer access or in need of assistance can register by calling 443-462-5511 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
*We received an announcement that on Thursday, February 11, CVS Health will begin to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to eligible populations at a limited number of CVS Pharmacy locations. Supply for the initial rollout will be approximately 11,000 in Maryland.
Johns Hopkins Facilities (Including Howard County General Hospital) Click here
Maryland State Vaccine Click here
Kaiser Permanente Click here
For more information on Vaccine Distribution in Howard County, plan to attend County Executive Calvin Ball's Telephone Town Hall on February 8th (see below).
Howard County Executive Calvin Ball will host a Vaccine Telephone Town Hall on Monday, February 8th at 6:00 p.m. to answer questions and concerns from Howard County residents about vaccine distribution. Residents are encouraged to pre-register and will receive a phone call to join the townhall or residents can call in to the event at (855) 756-7520 Ext. 71314#. The event will also be live-streamed online.
Calvin Ball - Howard County Executive
Dr. Clarence Lam, MPH, Maryland State Senator
Dr. Maura Rossman - Health Officer, Howard County Health Department
Dr. Shafeeq Ahmed - Howard County General Hospital Interim President
Dr. Michael Martirano - Superintendent, Howard County Public School System
William Anuszewski - Chief, Department of Fire and Rescue Services
Jacqueline Scott – Director, Department of Community Resources and Services
To read the complete newsletter, click here.