Doing the math on vaccination doses

Dear resident,

The pandemic’s peak is in our rear view mirror, but like a beast in a horror movie it is also chasing us. We have to keep our foot on the gas. That means continuing to mask and social distance while getting vaccinated.

If you are wondering when you’ll likely get a dose — or how far we are from having a high share of the County vaccinated — you might find the following information helpful.

Here’s the bottom line: By summer we could finally be ready to roll credits on this terrible movie. This is how the math works.

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Doses for Montgomery County

Dear resident:

I hope you can enjoy the weather this week. I take it as a sign of better days ahead — I truly believe we are about to cross over to a much better place in this pandemic. Nearly 200,000 residents have received a first dose!

That said, there are a lot of tough issues that we must continue working to resolve. And we must stay vigilant about facial coverings and distancing.

We need more doses — or we need a “MD Mass Vax Site”
In the early stages of the roll-out, there were fewer doses per person available in Montgomery County than in some other parts of the state. The County seemed to catch up more recently, but now I am concerned that the state is allocating new doses to “mass vaccination sites” rather than County sites.

The obvious problem is there is no mass vaccination site in Montgomery County, despite being the biggest county in the state! As a result, a lot of state doses are only available to people who are able to drive to Six Flags or Baltimore or other distant locations.

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CDC Guidance on Masks

Dear resident,

In the midst of the vaccination rollout, I want to be sure that you have not missed the important new guidance from the CDC about masks.

The CDC conducted research and found that when 2 people are both wearing tightly fitting masks, or doubling up on masks, exposure to aerosols that transmit virus was reduced by 95%.

For example, the CDC recommends wearing a surgical mask (those are the light blue ones that you can readily purchase from a variety of retail vendors, not the N95 type) with a fabric mask on top of that, both adjusted to fit tightly.

Please review this CDC guidance carefully and consider how you can increase your level of protection by wearing a more powerful mask combination.

The CDC research is good news because it means that we can stamp out this virus by

  1. Increasing our mask protection
  2. Continuing to safely distance
  3. Getting vaccinated

Sincerely,
Hans

P.S. you probably know that I have a personal passion for mask protections. I was one of the first elected officials in the U.S. to propose a mask requirement, and we got it done. Governor Hogan even thanked Montgomery County specifically when he announced a statewide mandate shortly afterwards.

Vaccination town-hall with AARP

Dear resident,

Since the start of this vaccination rollout, I have urged the State and County to focus on older residents, who are medically vulnerable.

While people age 80+ are between 2-3% of our County population, they have comprised over 50% of all our deaths from COVID-19.

That is why seniors must continue to be an urgent priority. We know that at our current pace, it will take several more weeks to work our way through appointments for those 75+.

On Wednesday, at 1pm, I invite you to join me for a tele-townhall for seniors sponsored by AARP, featuring the County’s health experts and a vaccine safety expert from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

When: Wed. Feb 10, 2021
Time: 1 PM
Call: 877-229-8493
Passcode: 115393

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Vaccination update

Dear resident:

As you are seeing in communications from the state, Maryland has opened up eligibility to both 1A and 1B and now 1C priority groups.

I have been among those advocating to widen eligibility, in order to get doses off the shelf and into arms. By widening eligibility, administration of doses should accelerate.

Remember that there are four vaccination administrative operations. It is important to distinguish among them.

  • Hospitals — now 1A/1B/1C as per state guidelines
  • County government — for County priority groups (presently 1A and 75+ only)
  • CVS/Walgreens — for nursing homes, long term care, group homes (1A)
  • Retail pharmacies — The state has added Giant, Walmart, and more are expected soon for 1A/1B/1C, following state guidelines

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