BEL AIR, Md. (WJZ) — Some local leaders say they’re concerned that smaller counties are getting more COVID-19 vaccines than larger counties.
Harford County Executive Barry Glassman wrote a letter to the state, saying that vaccines should be distributed based on population.READ MORE: 3 Men Injured After Shooting, Car Crash In Edgewood
To date, about 17% of Harford County residents have recieved a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Maryland Department of Health says that’s above the state average. But Glassman says this percentage doesn’t tell the whole story.
“We really don’t have the supply here that we should,” he said.
His office sent WJZ an 11-week overview of vaccine allocation by county which was initially published in a Maryland Matters newspaper article.
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It shows that Harford County, with a population of 255,000, gets nine vaccines for every 100 people and ranks 23rd out of Maryland’s 24 counties.
In contrast, Kent County on the Eastern Shore, with a population of 19,000, is ranked first.
“What a disparity of where I think we should be in that listing of allocations,” Glassman said.READ MORE: MS-13 Gang Member Sentenced For Kidnapping, Attempted Murder
In a statement, the Maryland Department of Health says Harford County is receiving its equitable share of vaccines from doses administered and doses allocated perspective:
“At the end of January, the department instituted a minimum number of vaccines allocated for each local health department based on their population size, gleaned from early consensus with the local health officers. Some counties with lower populations, such as Kent County, benefited from this policy. As such, allocation methods were refined to ensure equity across the entire State. The vaccine is still a scarce resource, and we recognize that no provider will be satisfied until there is enough vaccine for everyone who wants it.”
The Maryland Department of Health also says it’s more accurate to look at the actual number of residents vaccinated.
Harford County says it believes many people are getting the vaccine in other parts of the state and anyone who’s not computer savvy is at a disadvantage.
Barbara Murray lives in Harford County. Her husband, who has underlying conditions, ultimately got the shot in Baltimore City.
“He was sort of getting anxious about it and we decided to go elsewhere,” Murray said.
Melissa Morris says something as important as a vaccine needs to be accessible.
“You want something convenient for the community,” Morris said. “You don’t want to feel like you have to travel outside to get a dose faster than you can in your own county.”
Glassman is also asking for a mass vaccination site at Cal Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen. He’s one of several local leaders asking the state for a centralized registration system.MORE NEWS: Quarter Of Americans Fully Vaccinated Against Coronavirus, CDC Says