LARGO, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - In just three days, Six Flags America in Prince George’s County will go from an amusement park to a mass vaccination site. It’s one of two mass vaccination sites opening in Maryland but some people are concerned about supply.
Right now, the entire state of Maryland is only getting about 10,000 vaccinations a day and they’re being distributed among all counties. But counties like Prince George’s, Montgomery and Frederick have said they’re not getting enough vaccines from the state.
State Senator Ron Young, who represents Frederick County, said he’s worried the mass vaccination sites will take away from what the state has been allotting county health departments. Senator Young feels that as a result, people will have to travel farther to get the shot.
"It’s going to be extremely difficult for a lot of elderly people," Young said. "It’s just going to be very difficult in southern Maryland, western Maryland, Eastern Shore to get to these supersites and there will be less in their home county so it’s going to be very difficult."
Young said while it’s important to get these mass vaccination sites ready, the state should wait before opening them until Maryland gets a larger supply. He’s hoping that will come when the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is approved by the FDA in a few weeks.
Some people who we spoke with say the vaccination clinics should be offered everywhere.
"They need to do the mass centers. They need to do the local drug stores. They need to do it everywhere," one Prince George’s County resident said.
Another concern with the vaccination sites is communication issues.
The Six Flags site, although in Prince George’s County, will be run by the state. There’s been communication issues between the county and state in the past.
A few weeks ago, there was a backup at a Prince George’s County vaccination site after people who didn’t live or work in the county were using the state site to make appointments and cross county lines. That problem was eventually fixed with the county taking over bookings.
But for the Six Flags location, the county says the state will book appointments. Right now, Prince George’s County health officials are sending the state the names of people who are pre-registered for vaccines so that the state can move forward with the appointments.
"I went to [Marine’s] boot camp in ’97. When I went to boot camp there was a line of us and they had people on both sides giving us shots, pushing us through. That was ’97. If the mission is to get us vaccinated, they can do it. Plain and simple," another Prince George’s County resident told FOX 5.
FOX 5 reached out to the state of Maryland asking several questions, including how many vaccinations will happen per day at each site. We’re told more information is forthcoming.