Mass vaccination sites still far off in Maryland
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - As counties in the D.C. area continue to distribute vaccines to those who qualify, many are wondering when we can expect mass vaccination sites in stadiums and arenas like we’re seeing in other states.
Public health leaders in Montgomery County say they would like to open mass vaccination sites in large spaces such as the Maryland SoccerPlex but right now they’re not receiving enough vaccines from the state.
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As of Tuesday, Montgomery County says it’s received 19,800 vaccines from the state. The county is expecting to have used all those vaccines by Friday and will close all four vaccination clinics until it receives another shipment from the state.
Right now, Montgomery County says it’s vaccinating around 2,000 people a day but has the capacity to vaccinate 3,500 people a day.
County Executive Marc Elrich says the state gets its vaccines from the federal government and it’s causing a trickle-down effect in slowing down the process.
"All of us have been appealing to the state, which really doesn’t control it, but to our federal delegate to get the vaccines out as quickly as possible. We can do more, we can ramp up and we can scale but unless we get more doses it’s going to be very hard to move through quickly the remaining population," Elrich said.
Montgomery County says it’s only been receiving about half of the number of vaccines it’s been requesting from the state but does plan to start relying on hospitals for vaccines once all healthcare workers are vaccinated.
"Our hospitals will finish vaccinating whoever on their staff needs to be vaccinated and they will be able to transition over to other categories as well.
Other counties in Maryland may not be as prepared for something like mass vaccination sites.
Prince George’s County says they’ve received 14,000 vaccines from the state to date but have only distributed 3,000. The county says it does hope to increase capacity to 1,000 appointments a day at its Sports and Learning Complex.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan's office says Montgomery County has been receiving 15 percent of the state’s supply, which is more than any other county is receiving.
The state is working on registering as many vaccine providers as possible and plans to use the National Guard and Maryland Responds Medical Reserve to help with mass vaccination.
Vaccine distribution in Maryland is prioritized among groups. Right now, most counties are in priority group 1A, which includes healthcare workers and law enforcement, among others.
Most counties won’t get into group 1B, which includes seniors 75 and older, until next week. Hogan announced that today during an evening press conference. Watch below: