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Resources

What Businesses and Governments Can do to Prepare

We encourage businesses and governments to look at past pandemic flu planning and procedures to assure the plans are current, relevant and staff are aware. These plans can assist in the response to COVID-19 as the transmission is similar to the flu.
Assure continuity of operations/government plans are up to date to keep critical services in place.


Additional resources for businesses and employers to plan and respond to COVID-19 can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

Information about the COVID-19 Vaccine

Phase 1B will begin statewide on January 18, which includes Maryland age 75 and older; assisted living and other congregate facilities; and K-12 teachers, support staff, and childcare providers.
Marylanders who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccination can now visit covidvax.maryland.gov and find a vaccination clinic near them. Due to limited initial supply, vaccinations will take place by appointment only at this time.

Sign up for Vaccination Updates

Vaccination updates will be issued through our statewide 2-1-1 Maryland texting service. To opt-in to receive these alerts, text ‘MdReady’ to 898-211. Marylanders are also encouraged to visit covidlink.maryland.gov to review safety information and learn more about the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plan.

What is a  COVID-19 Vaccine?

A COVID-19 vaccine is one way to prevent serious illness due to COVID-19.  Vaccination causes your body to create antibodies without getting sick with the COVID-19 disease.

About the Vaccines:

At this time, there are three vaccines anticipated to be available first.

  • Pfizer/BioNTech

Contains temporary genetic coding material that makes your muscle cells create a harmless protein. The protein makes your body create cells and antibodies that fight the COVID-19 virus if you are infected.
*Vaccine Requires two doses administered 3-4 weeks apart.

  • Moderna

Contains temporary genetic coding material that makes your muscle cells create a harmless protein. The protein makes your body create cells and antibodies that fight the COVID-19 virus if you are infected.
*Vaccine Requires two doses administered 3-4 weeks apart.

  • AstraZeneca

Contains a weakened, harmless version of a live virus – a different virus than the one that causes COVID-19. This weakened virus is altered to make a protein that makes your body create cells and antibodies that fight the COVID-19 virus if you are infected.

What do I need to know about the vaccines?

COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority of the U.S. government and the Maryland State government.
The vaccines are safe, and they will not give you COVID-19.
The vaccines are effective at preventing you from getting seriously ill with COVID-19.
You can still transmit COVID-19 to other people if you have been vaccinated. We all need to continue wearing masks and social distancing.

How do I get vaccinated against COVID-19?

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine will depend on several factors, and supplies will be limited initially. Not everyone will be able to be vaccinated right away, but the federal government has invested in manufacturers’ ability to quickly make and distribute vaccines. Maryland will distribute the vaccines to four different priority groups in order of patient risk. This approach will allow everyone to get vaccinated as soon as large quantities of the vaccines are available.

When can I get vaccinated?

Not everyone will be able to be vaccinated right away. Maryland will distribute the vaccines to four different priority groups in order of patient risk. The Maryland Department of Health will provide further details when vaccine registration is available to the general public.

How will vaccinations be distributed?

Maryland will distribute the vaccines to four different priority groups in order of patient risk:
Phase 1A: Healthcare workers, residents and staff of long-term care facilities, first responders.
Phase 1B: People at significantly higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness.
Phase 2: People in critical, essential infrastructure roles, including essential non-healthcare and transportation workers, and people at moderately higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness.
Phase 3: General population of the state.

The move to advanced phases will be based on the availability of COVID-19 vaccine, the achievement of targeted metrics for vaccination of higher priority groups, or notification by CDC and state authorities that the general public phase can begin.

Where can I get vaccinated? Will I have to pre-register?

You will have a choice of several locations where you can go to get the COVID-19 vaccine. MDH will provide further details when registration is available to the general public.

Will I have to pay for COVID-19 vaccination?

Vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost. However, vaccination providers will be able to charge an administration fee for giving the shot to someone.

V-Safe After Vaccine Health Checker

V-safe is a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Through v-safe, you can quickly tell CDC if you have any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Depending on your answers, someone from CDC may call to check on you and get more information. And v-safe will remind you to get your second COVID-19 vaccine dose if you need one. For more information visit cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/vsafe.html.

 

COVID-19 Public Health Activities

Worcester County Health Department (WCHD) has surveillance in place for all reportable diseases including new infections or suspected cases of COVID-19. Medical facilities know what to report, how to report and how to reach us. We have provided current guidance documents from the state health department related to COVID-19 to these facilities.
WCHD has an on-call service available for 24/7 response to public health needs.
Systems are in place for rapid testing for any potential cases. Isolation and quarantine plans are in place if necessary.


We have planning experience with pandemic flu preparation including the robust public health response to H1N1.
Public health has access to additional resources that can include items needed for a response such as medical masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) and other health care needs if a health emergency is declared and if the Strategic National Stockpile is requested.

Information