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Vaccinations begin at long-term care facilities

Few adverse effects from the coronavirus vaccines have been reported locally

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Coronavirus vaccinations at long-term care facilities began this week in Carroll County with the goal to protect the residents who are most vulnerable to serious symptoms or death if they are infected.

Deaths at those facilities have accounted for at least a third of the county’s total of 33 coronavirus deaths. The precise number is unclear because it is not made available by state health officials.

The inoculations are part of the first phase of a federal vaccination program that prioritizes residents and staff of those facilities along with healthcare workers, the vast majority of which have received their first of two vaccine doses in recent weeks in the county.

None of the people who have been vaccinated have suffered serious reactions, according to Nicole Schwering, the county’s public health director.

“Data has shown that the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines have a high efficacy, up to 95 percent following the two-dose series,” Schwering said. “Both vaccines have had few adverse reactions and are usually mild to moderate and will resolve within a few days. The most common include pain at injection site, fatigue, headache. We strongly encourage everyone that is eligible to receive their vaccine when it is available.”

It’s unclear when the next priority groups — which include emergency responders, teachers and other essential workers — will begin to receive the vaccines.

Carroll County surpassed 2,500 confirmed coronavirus cases this week. The county’s rate of infection has plateaued with fewer than 100 new cases each week since the middle of December.

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