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COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout FAQ

Last updated: January 25, 2021

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COVID-19 Vaccine Priority Phases

Currently Anne Arundel County is in Phase 1B and 1A continues.

Vaccination Prioritization

What are the COVID-19 Vaccination Rollout Phases?

The phases are 1A, 1B, 1C, 2, and 3.

People in any phase can preregister. The preregistered individuals and workgroups will be emailed actual vaccination appointment times and clinic locations once there is vaccine rollout for their specific phase and group. Sign up at https://aacounty.org/covidvax.

For general updates on the vaccine rollout, subscribe to the free Community E-Alerts.

Phase 1A: December – January

  • Health Care Workers
  • Public Health
  • Nursing Home
  • First Responders
    • Fire/EMS
    • Police
    • Sheriff
  • Judiciary
  • Corrections

Phase 1B: January – March

During the week of January 17, the Department of Health began scheduling vaccinations for county residents age 75 and older. Other groups within Phase 1B will be provided vaccine appointments as more vaccine supplies are received.

Phase 1B includes Adults Age 75+ and essential workers in a variety of sectors.

  • Congregate Settings
    • Assisted Living Facility
    • Group Homes
    • Homeless Shelters
  • Continuity of Government
  • Education
  • Child Care
  • Adults age 75+

Phase 1C: March – April

  • Adults age 65-74
  • Frontline Essential Workers
    • Food and Agricultural
    • U.S. Postal Service
    • Manufacturing
    • Grocery Store
    • Public Transit

Phase 2: April – May

  • Adults age 16-64 with high risk conditions
  • Essential Workers
    • Transportation and Logistics
    • Water and Wastewater
    • Food Service
    • Shelter and Housing (e.g., construction)
    • Finance (e.g., bank tellers)
    • Information Technology and Communications
    • Energy
    • Legal
    • Media
    • Public Safety (e.g., engineers)
    • Other Workers with Public-Facing Responsibilities

Phase 3: May – June

  • Adults 16-64

How were these phases determined?

These phases are based on considerations for the ethical allocation of vaccines by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) which is a part of the CDC. The two goals are to prevent illness and death in individuals and preserve social functioning. They applied three ethical principles – maximize benefits and minimize harms; promote justice; mitigate health inequities – to create the prioritization list.

Why are there changes to the priority list?

On January 5, Governor Larry Hogan and the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) provided additional guidance and detail on the prioritization schedule based on CDC guidance. The numbering of the phases changed and some of the previous categories were broken down into smaller categories. Anne Arundel County is updating our prioritization schedule to reflect MDH guidance and stay consistent with the state.

Will there be any further changes to these priority groups?

These priority groups may change based on new federal or state guidance or on particular issues in the county. If there is a change to these priority groups, there will be further information as to why changes were made.

What happens to people or groups that do not fit neatly into any category?

Individuals or groups will be compared to the sectors in each phase to identify which one(s) they are most similar to. In instances where there is still uncertainty, the Department of Health will use the ACIP framework to determine in which phase an individual or group should be placed.

Frontline and Other Essential Workers

  • Group Considerations
    • Workers most critical to maintaining core societal functions
    • Workers with unavoidable high risk of exposure
      • Cannot work remotely; and/or
      • Work in close proximity to coworkers or public
        • Amount of time in close proximity
        • Number of contacts during workday
      • Workers in sites with high transmission rates (e.g. correctional officers)
      • Workers disproportionately affected by COVID-19 because of structural inequities
  • Individual Considerations
    • People at increased risk of severe illness based on age or pre-existing medical conditions
    • People more likely to transmit infection outside of work (e.g. group housing)
    • People who have not been infected with COVID-19 within the preceding 90 days.

When will I get vaccinated?

Each phase has an estimate of when vaccinations will start in that phase. This estimate is based on vaccine and provider availability. As conditions change the Department of Health will provide updated estimates.

Current Phase

Who’s getting vaccinated now?

Currently Anne Arundel County is in Phase 1B and 1A continues.

Who qualifies as a health care worker?

Anybody regulated by one of the Maryland Department of Health Boards or is part of a practice that provides those services is considered a health care worker. If you are unsure if your profession is included, check the Maryland Department of Health list of Boards. Here is a Health Care Worker FAQ.  Below is a list of the most common professions of health care workers included in Phase 1A.

  • Acupuncturists
  • Audiologists and Speech Language Pathologists
  • Chiropractic
  • Dentists
  • Dental Hygienists
  • Dieticians
  • Environmental Health Specialists
  • Massage Therapists
  • Medical Assistants
  • Morticians and Funeral Directors
  • Nurses
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Optometrists
  • Pharmacists
  • Physical Therapists
  • Nurses Assistants
  • Physicians
  • Physician Assistants
  • Psychologists
  • Podiatrists
  • Professional Counselors and Therapists
  • Social Workers
  • Staff who are part of a practice providing health care services identified above

How are those groups in Phase 1A getting vaccinated?

Health care workers who are affiliated with one of the two hospitals in the county, Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC) and Baltimore Washington Medical Center (BWMC), are getting their vaccine through the hospitals. Federally Qualified Health Centers will receive vaccines separately for their staff. All other health care workers will be vaccinated by the Department of Health or its community health partners.

Long-term care facilities are being vaccinated by two national pharmacies, CVS and Walgreens, as arranged by the federal government.

First responders are being vaccinated by the Anne Arundel County Fire Department in partnership with the Department of Health.

The judiciary will be vaccinated by the Department of Health. Corrections staff and inmates will be vaccinated by a contractor in partnership with the Department of Health.

I work in health care. What do I need to do to get vaccinated?

If you work at either AAMC or BWMC, you should have been contacted by the hospital to sign up for a vaccination.

If you work in a long-term care facility, contact your practice administrator for further details.

Health care practices, independent providers and first responders not affiliated with a hospital can sign up here. If you are part of a practice, contact your practice administrator first before registering in order to avoid duplicate registration.

There are many health care workers. How will they be prioritized?

The Department has started vaccinating practices with the highest percentage of Medicare, Medicaid and uninsured patients, as these practices have the largest proportion of the patients at higher risk from COVID. As those practices are vaccinated, we will continue through our list until we vaccinate all health care providers.

I’m not a health care worker so how do I know if I’m in one of the other groups being vaccinated now?

If you are a first responder, in the judiciary or in corrections, your agency will contact you with further details. If you reside in the county and work outside the county, contact your employer for further information or you can sign up to get vaccinated in the county here.

What if I provide health services but I’m not in Phase 1A?

Veterinarians, integrative health practitioners, and other health related professions that do not fall in the ‘Health Care Worker’ group will be prioritized in Phase 2 under the category “Other workers with public facing responsibilities.”

How long will this take?

It will take two to three months to provide both doses of the vaccine to everyone in these groups. As greater quantities of vaccine become available and more providers are registered to give the vaccine, the speed of this process will increase.

What are the plans for future phase rollouts?

Right now, the amount of vaccine the Department of Health receives each week is variable, and it is not clear when more providers and pharmacies will be able to start vaccinating the public. The Department is rolling out Phase 1B in January-March. As we learn more, we’ll share information with the public. To sign up for general COVID-19 rollout information, you can sign up for Community Health Email Alerts.

View Vaccine News for updates.


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