Greater Living
Important: COVID-19, Vaccines, & Visitor Policy

GBMC's COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

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By:

Laura Zabriskie

January 28, 2021
There has been a lot of concern about the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations in the State of Maryland and across the country. To help answer some of the public’s questions, John B. Chessare, MD, MPH, President and CEO of GBMC, joined WBAL Radio’s Coronavirus Townhall to explain local vaccine distribution and how GBMC is responding to the ever-changing situation.

“Our team has done a remarkable job,” he said, “there has been a lot in the news about the speed at which vaccines were being given, but I don’t think that’s the full story. We had to create systems that did not exist in order to immunize people.” The situation remains fluid. There is not a set schedule for when doses are delivered to hospitals or how many will come, making it challenging to plan. Each week, the State gets an allotment of vaccines from the federal government, which it then distributes to local hospitals and health departments. “We don’t actually know how many doses we are going to get from week to week,” Dr. Chessare explained, “that makes it very difficult to schedule.”

GBMC HealthCare is following the State’s timeline for vaccinating patients and community members. Due to the limited supply of doses available, Marylanders ages 65 and over must be given priority for COVID-19 vaccine over all other groups in Phase 1B and 1C. “We are also working with school systems to vaccinate teachers and other educators,” he said. Dr. Chessare recognized the difficulty and frustration many are having making a vaccination appointment, but he urged people to be patient.

He also assured those who have received their first dose at GBMC that there will be a second dose for them. Every morning, a team meets to go over the schedule and make sure that every single person vaccinated at GBMC will have access to their second dose. There is also a team watching throughout the day to account for last-minute cancellations and no-shows. “If they see it’s possible that a slot will go unfilled, they immediately contact someone else who can fill it. GBMC has wasted zero vaccines.”

To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and GBMC’s vaccination process, visit www.gbmc.org/covid-19-vaccine-faq.
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