PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks have announced that FEMA will be opening a COVID-19 vaccination center at Greenbelt Metro Station on April 7.
As more vaccine doses become available, the center’s capacity is expected to be up to 3,000 shots per day. Its daily schedule and hours have yet to be announced.
This will be the first federally-operated site in Maryland, and it will utilize direct vaccine allocations from the federal government.
Dr. George Askey – the administrator of Prince George’s County’s health department – says the new site will be a "game changer."
"This doesn't take away from the doses of vaccine that we were already being allocated so this is above and beyond what we were getting before and really speaks to the strong desire of Prince Georgians to be vaccinated," he said.
"We are grateful to the White House, FEMA, and all of our federal partners for working with us to expand our vaccination campaign in Prince George’s County and across the state," said Gov. Hogan. "By the end of April, we will have more than 12 mass vaccination sites across Maryland as part of a rapidly expanding vaccine distribution network. These vaccines are safe and effective, and when your turn arrives, we urge Marylanders to get vaccinated."
This is the second site in the state to have support from FEMA, which provides personnel and infrastructure for the mass vaccination site in Waldorf.
"We've got this right in our own backyard. It's accessible by Metro. You can drive up and walk to the site from there. We're working on ways to help people get there ourselves by doing pickups so there's lots of things going on that make it a site where we really want to push equity. We really want to push getting folks there who wouldn't otherwise have easy access to getting the vaccine," Askew said.
Maryland has opened six mass vaccination sites to serve eligible residents, with six more set to open throughout the month of April.
"Prince George’s County has certainly been the hardest-hit jurisdiction in the region, and we thank the White House, FEMA, and our other federal partners for selecting our county as a location for a federally-run mass vaccination site," said County Executive Alsobrooks. "It is absolutely critical that we can continue to quickly and equitably administer vaccine to our community. This new site will help us increase the number of Prince Georgians and others who are proud to be protected from COVID-19."
FEMA will have socially-distanced staff on site to ensure prompt service is available to all and that proper COVID-19 protocols are adhered to. Translation services will be available for people whose primary language is not English and interpretation services for those who are deaf or have hearing loss.
Marylanders interested in receiving a vaccination at any state-run mass vaccination site should visit covidlink.maryland.gov or call 1-855-MD-GOVAX (1-855-634-6829).