With a COVID-19 vaccine on the horizon, the Frederick County Health Department is ramping up its plans to be able to distribute the vaccine once it is available. Part of that planning includes an online survey to gauge from county residents whether they’d get the vaccine.

Much of the planning remains in flux, as it is presently unclear when the vaccine will be approved, when it will arrive in the county and how much of it will be initially available.

But the ability to plan for a vaccine is a hopeful sign during some of the darkest days of the entire pandemic.

On Wednesday, there were 122 new cases of COVID-19 in Frederick County and one related death.

At Frederick Health Hospital, there are now more coronavirus patients (58) than at any point during the pandemic after 12 more were admitted from the previous day. There are seven coronavirus patients in the hospital’s 19-bed intensive care unit.

Although the initial supply of the vaccine will be limited in the county and elsewhere, the hope is it will begin to slow the spread of the disease and eventually bring the pandemic to an end as it ramps up over time.

“We are grateful for and proud of our strong community partnerships that have allowed us to prepare aggressively and respond innovatively to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now we are pulling together to get ready for distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr. Barbara Brookmyer, Frederick County Health Officer.

Gov. Larry Hogan said Tuesday that Maryland would likely receive 155,000 doses of vaccine in its initial batch, which could arrive as early as Monday, and might have as many as 300,000 by the end of the year.

That won’t be enough to cover everyone being prioritized to receive it first, front-line health care workers and the residents and staff of nursing homes.

But Hogan said the state will receive more supply with each successive week and eventually, as municipalities work their way through front-life health care providers, nursing home residents and staff, first responders, essential workers and those most at risk to severe illness, everyone who wants the vaccine will be able to receive it.

It could be widely available to the general public this spring.

“Things are moving rapidly. So, we’re developing things as we get guidance from the state and input from our local partners,” said Rissah Watkins, the director of planning, assessment and communications for the Frederick County Health Department.

The county health department is presently conducting an anonymous survey online to gauge how residents feel about the vaccine.

Watkins said the survey results could be made available next week and impact the county’s vaccination efforts.

“The survey results will definitely be taken into account as we plan, and especially as we develop messaging to address people’s questions and concerns,” she said.

Follow Greg Swatek on Twitter: @greg_swatek.

(14) comments


So let me get this straight. According to a lot of people on here as well as a large section of politicians on both sides, I am an uncaring, uneducated schmuck who wants to kill everyone I run across for 10 or 15 seconds if I don't take a vaccine for a disease that has only affected 4.6% of the US population ((15,242,873 cases / 331,000,000 population) * 100). Overall, this disease only kills about 1.9% of those infected ((288,950 deaths /15,242,873 cases) * 100). Looking at Frederick County, those numbers are 3.2% and 1.9%.

Depending on which version of the vaccine I could receive, it will have a 90-94% success rate. Every major vaccine candidate has had testing interrupted due to adverse reactions in part of the test population. There has been zero research into the long term dangers of these drugs because there has been no time to do them yet. Ultimately, I will be signing up to be a lab rat to protect myself from something improbable to infect me.

And people call me dumb (sarcastic eye roll).


Good news a vaccine is on the way, however many people are hesitant to take it given its speedy development and rightfully so. The 1918 flu pandemic didn't need a vaccine for the pandemic to end, a flu vaccine wasn't developed until the 1940's with varying efficacy from 10% - 60% but people weren't wearing masks and taking drastic mitigation measures until the 40's.


The 1918 pandemic infected one third of the world’s population and killed almost 3.5% of the world. That would be over 10,000,000 Americans dead today. You really think we ought to wait around for that?

Please don’t take the health department survey.


The strain of influenza in 1918 had a much higher mortality rate than Covid has. Treatment and medical tech. was nowhere near what it is today, there is a very long list of differences. Not to mention the 1918 flu impacted younger people at a much higher percentage than Covid does. If you're in the vulnerable population go ahead and take the vaccine, risk is probably worth the reward, otherwise you shouldn't be in a rush. BTW I did fill out the survey and voiced my opinion as part of my right to free speech there comrade.


Technically, all pandemics have ended whether or not there was a vaccine. I don't know that we want to approach medicine as we did 100 or more years ago. The Black Death ended without a vaccine. It took a third or half of Europe with it. So, they didn't "need" a vaccine, but they might have liked a vaccine.


What? The availability of vaccines in Frederick County and my ability to get inoculated somehow depends on the result of a survey monkey poll? Have these people completely lost their minds?

For the love of God, please don’t make my health care dependent on poll results from the anti vaxxer halfwits who post here.

This is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard of.


Here is a link to the survey.



Actually, I think it makes sense to know where people want to get vaccinated, how much they trust the vaccines, and any ideas they have to make the process go smoother.


Hooray for President Trump and Operation Warp Speed! Without them we would not be talking about this today. Mr. President you are the best.


OK Pdl. You realize you are crediting an anti-vaxxer who continues to tell us not to be afraid of the virus, even though it has been killing more Americans every day than the total that died in 9/11.


Vaccinating nursing home residents might be a particular challenge, as they are more likely to suffer adverse reactions from the vaccines, and that data needs to be collected without causing panic. People need to remember that so far, the mRNA vaccines don't appear to be more dangerous than flu vaccines, but they are more likely to cause a minor fever for a day or two. Like wearing masks, that is small price to pay to keep everyone safe and get everyone back to work.

PurplePickles aka L&M

Death or minor side effects from the vaccine?? I'll take the minor side effects any day. to me there isn't much of a decision to be made. Die or live???


Three cheers for our frontline health care heroes and all the researchers and scientists!! Light at the end of the tunnel, finally. Still a tough few months ahead.


Hurray for our medical development, doctors and nurses.

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