HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVVM) — Meritus Health announced a change to its age requirements to schedule a coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday.
Meritus Health made the announcement via a press release, writing, “As Meritus Health continues to follow Maryland Governor [Larry] Hogan and the Washington County Health Department’s guidance on COVID-19 vaccine phases open in the state, the organization has also opened the vaccine appointments to Washington County residents age 65 and older.”
This statement preceded Gov. Hogan’s announcement that the entire state would be moving into phase 1B — the phase that lowers the age requirement to 75 — on Jan. 18. While Washington County seems to be moving at a steady pace, the Health Department has received several concerns about the speed of vaccine rollout.
“Washington County is doing it very differently than many of the other counties in the state. We’re a small health department, and we’re also a county that only has one hospital,” said Danielle Stahl, public information officer for Washington County Health Department.
As of Thursday, Washington County had administered over 5,000 first doses of the vaccine. And Gov. Hogan anticipates the state will soon not have enough vaccines on hand to meet demand as the rate of vaccination increases.
The Washington County Health Department reported the county’s positivity rate had seen a sizable decline, going from almost 18% to about 14.5%.