Residents can now track Baltimore County’s vaccination progress through an online dashboard monitoring administered doses and other COVID-19 metrics.
More than 58,700 first doses and 10,375 second doses have been given so far, according to the dashboard — the most vaccinations administered among Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions, county officials say.
The dashboard data is sourced from the Maryland Department of Health, and will be updated by noon every business day.
County health providers are working through a registry of more than 150,000 people who have signed up so far for vaccination through the county’s online registry. Government leaders across the U.S., including in Baltimore County, have said a squeezed vaccine supply chain is what’s holding them back from administering doses more quickly.
But County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Jr. expressed optimism at President Joe Biden’s plan, announced Tuesday, to buy 200 million more vaccine doses from Pfizer and Moderna, an effort that will start “sending millions more [doses] beginning next week,” he said.
On Jan. 25, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan made more eligible for the vaccine — adults 65 to 74 years old, U.S. Postal Service workers, those in manufacturing, grocery store employees and public transit workers. The county is still working to vaccinate those who were made eligible in the state’s Phase 1A and Phase 1B vaccine priority groups, which include first responders, health care providers, nursing home residents and staff, those who are 75 and older and teachers.
During a Wednesday afternoon news conference, Baltimore County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch indicated the county does not necessarily vet those who have registered to ensure they live or work in Baltimore County.
“Once you’ve registered, we are going to vaccinate you,” he said.
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“We’re in this together,” he said, responding to a reporter’s question if he was concerned about out-of-county individuals registering through the county for vaccinations.
The county’s vaccine sign-up form asks registrants to indicate if they live or work in the county, but does not require a registrant to give their address. If a user indicates they do not have county ties, the registration portal advises they contact their local health department.
The “COVID vaccine does not know that it’s in Pennsylvania versus Baltimore County or anywhere else,” he said. “Our goal really is to vaccinate as many people as we can vaccinate.”
The county will open two new clinics in the eastern and western county with the specific sites being announced in the coming days, spokesman Sean Naron said.
The county is also exploring options for transporting those who wish to get a shot, but don’t have the means to get to a clinic, and will ramp up outreach efforts to underserved communities after surveys have shown vaccine hesitancy is higher among African Americans.
“The vaccine is safe [and] it’s very effective,” Branch said.