County Executive Calls for Population-Based Vaccine Distribution
Harford County Executive Barry Glassman issued the following statement on the one-year anniversary of Harford’s first case of COVID-19.
“One year ago on March 8, we learned of Harford County’s first case of COVID-19. We had little understanding back then of this new plague and how it would affect nearly every aspect of our lives.
One year later, 12,750 cases of the virus have been reported in Harford County, and 237 of our fellow citizens have lost their lives. We mourn their loss and lift up their grieving families.
In the past few months, good news arrived with the FDA’s approval of three vaccines. This scientific breakthrough is miraculous. Unfortunately, supplies are still very limited.
To date, 17% of our residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, including first responders, teachers and senior citizens. Harford’s vaccination rate is close to the state average, but too many of our residents are still scrambling for appointments.
I have requested a mass vaccination site at Ripken Stadium, and I continue to offer resources to the local health department and advocate for more vaccines in Harford County.
Local government leaders had been assured that Maryland was distributing vaccines based on population, so I was extremely disappointed to learn that there are wide disparities. Clearly the state needs to refocus on equity and on balancing distribution by population.
The state registration system is also fragmented, which is especially hard on the elderly and those without a computer.
Along with other local leaders, I asked for a one-stop registration process and greater support for local health departments to reach vulnerable populations. Every resident must have access to this lifesaving opportunity.
When you are eligible for a vaccine, make sure you’re signed up with the Harford County Health Department and monitoring private pharmacies and other providers for available appointments. Links are on the state portal at https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/vaccine.
Community volunteers have also started a Facebook page, Harford Citizens Crush COVID-19, to find appointments for those who need help navigating the state system. In one of our darkest moments, these kind souls are a shining light.
If you need help for yourself or someone without a computer, call the health department at 410-838-1500 or the state helpline at 1-855-MDGOVAX (1-855-634-6829).
In the meantime, take care of yourself and those around you. Wear a mask, keep your distance and stay safe. Harford County has done a good job so far, but we must remain vigilant. Hope is on the horizon.”