Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks promised that once a coronavirus vaccine became available, she would get it to help fight against the pandemic.
Her turn came Tuesday as she calmly sat in a chair at the Cheverly Health Center.
From the time she walked inside a small room to chat with registered nurse Ingra Lewis to receiving a Moderna vaccine in her right arm, the process took only several minutes.
“There are so many people in our community who are really apprehensive about the vaccine. I want people to feel comfortable that if I would do it, I wouldn’t ask anybody to do something that I wouldn’t do,” Alsobrooks said a few minutes after receiving the shot in her right arm. “It was quick and painless. This is a good step for all of us to finally tor to get this behind our view.”
The Food and Drug Administration authorized distribution of the Moderna vaccine Friday, which boasts a slightly more than 94% efficacy rate against the novel coronavirus. The other company, Pfizer, was approved last week to distribute its vaccine with a similar efficacy rate.
Individuals who receive the two-dose Pfizer vaccine should get the second round three weeks after the first. The second dose of the Moderna vaccine should be taken four weeks later.
The main difference between the vaccines is the storage temperatures. The Moderna vaccine can remain in temperatures about minus-20 degrees Celsius, versus Pfizer at minus-75 degrees.
Prince George’s officials have encouraged residents to take the vaccine when it becomes ready, especially with the majority-Black jurisdictions recording the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Maryland. The county currently has 51,136 cases and slightly more than 1,000 related deaths.
On Tuesday, Maryland’s health department reported 2,324 confirmed cases to increase the statewide total to 255,397. More than 5,300 people died from the virus, included 51 deaths Tuesday.
Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday more than 100,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine were being distributed throughout the state. About 2,300 doses will be provided for clinical health care workers at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda.
Some health care workers and staff and residents at nursing homes already received the Pfizer vaccine last week.
In total, the governor’s office said the state’s allotment will total 191,075. There will be enough doses to vaccinate about 90% of the state’s health care front line workers by the end of the week.
In Prince George’s County, another health care official received a shot in the arm: Dr. Ernest Carter, the county’s chief health officer.
Carter, 66, said the vaccine generates a protein that helps fight off the virus and “that’s why I’m very comfortable with it.”
“This is the first step in getting the entire county vaccinated,” he said with a smile behind his mask. “The shot’s not hard. It’s very easy.”