The Aegis

Harford Health Department cancels COVID-19 vaccine clinic after 90% of sign-ups were found to be ineligible

The Harford County Health Department canceled a COVID-19 vaccine clinic Friday at Patterson Mill High School in Bel Air after discovering that approximately 90% of the people who signed up did not meet eligibility requirements.

“About 1,000 people were not eligible to receive the vaccine,” said Molly Mraz, a spokesperson for the health department. “There’s no way we would’ve been able to call 1,000 people in a couple of hours to let them know they could not come to Patterson Mill, so we had to close the clinic today.”


A couple hundred eligible people who had signed up for Friday’s clinic were vaccinated at another site, Mraz said. The health department also sent links to other eligible people who had pre-registered with the department to get vaccinated but didn’t already have an appointment, so none of the doses went to waste, she said.

The issue highlighted a problem with link-sharing, Mraz said, which isn’t exclusive to Harford County. Health departments, hospitals and other places across the state offering the vaccine have found that, even though eligibility to receive one of the doses is limited to certain ages and occupations, people from outside those categories are scheduling appointments in the state’s PrepMod system.


Mraz said that’s a problem when departments are still trying to get certain priority groups vaccinated.

“We still have a lot of 75 or older residents who are not getting vaccinated and a lot of it is because of people sharing these links,” she said. “When you send a link to somebody who it’s not their turn yet, you’re taking it away from someone who is eligible and somebody who has been waiting and somebody who pre-registered the right away and is waiting their turn.”

Maryland is in Phase 1C of vaccinations, which also includes those in eligible in phases 1A and 1B. Adults 65 and older, healthcare workers, first responders, residents and staff of nursing homes, assisted living and other congregate settings, educators, and essential workers in some sectors such as the postal service, manufacturing, lab services and agriculture are eligible.

Staff at the health department is regularly checking the PrepMod system to see how many ineligible people may have signed up after receiving a shared link. Typically, staff will call or email those individuals and let them know not to come to the clinics, Mraz said. Some will still show up the clinics, thought, and Mraz said she’s sure some have slipped through the cracks.

Harford’s Health Department will reschedule everybody who registered for Friday’s clinic through a shared link for an appointment down the road, once they are eligible, Mraz said.

“Their turn will come,” she said.