Due to increasing supply of the coronavirus vaccine, County Executive Jan Gardner (D) announced Thursday the county’s vaccine clinic on Oak Street will now have permanent hours.
That clinic, located in the former United Healthcare office, will offer first doses of the vaccine from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, beginning next week.
Appointments can be made by calling 301-600-7900, and Spanish speakers can call 301-600-7905. They can also be made online at FrederickCountyMD.gov/CovidVaccine, or residents can walk up to the 54,000-square-foot facility at 800 Oak St., currently run by the county’s health department.
Vivian Laxton, communications director in Gardner’s office, said the Moderna vaccine will be offered through the end of this week. Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson may be offered in the coming weeks, but it depends on what the state sends to the county’s health department, Laxton said.
The county executive said she anticipates vaccine hesitancy could become a greater issue in the coming months. County officials have already operated some mobile vaccine clinics, and businesses countywide can call the numbers above to see if they can participate, Gardner said.
County officials are trying different market and outreach strategies, and Gardner hopes primary care physicians can answer any questions or field concerns about the vaccine from people still reluctant about being vaccinated.
One of the main challenges Gardner feels is perhaps underreported is hesitancy among people in their 20s and 30s—who believe they simply aren’t as high-risk as older people or say they don’t have the time to get vaccinated.
Social media outreach will be important to convince young people, Gardner said.
“We really need to make a point for us to have enough people vaccinated for a new variant to not come back in the fall and create another surge,” Gardner said. “We have to have people do this that are younger for themselves ... and for their older family members, and also for kids, because kids can’t get vaccinated now.”