ROCKVILLE, Md. - In a Monday virtual news conference, Montgomery County leaders confirmed that in the race to vaccinate more Marylanders, the state’s most populous jurisdiction was actually told it would receive 1,000 fewer vaccines this week.
Council President Tom Hucker said Montgomery County was informed they would get 4,500 vaccines instead of the 5,500 vaccines it received from Maryland’s Department of Health last week. County leaders said they had not been given a reason.
"We weren’t getting enough to begin with and obviously this only makes things more difficult because – particularly because the two sites that have been identified – Prince George’s and Baltimore, those jurisdictions certainly need assistance from the state as well but it’s not convenient to our residents," said Hucker, answering a question to FOX 5 on whether there was concern the fewer vaccines was due to those doses now going to the new mass vaccination sites.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan launched the Prince George’s County mass vaccination site at Six Flags America last week and toured the other state-run Baltimore Convention Center Mass Vaccination site on Monday. The Governor’s office says Maryland providers have now administered nearly 700,000 COVID 19 vaccines (699,733) with 84.3% of all first doses from the federal government administered.
"As supply from the federal government allows, this site is anticipated to complete 10,000 vaccinations per week at full capacity," read a press release, which also quoted the governor, saying, "Vaccinating millions of Marylanders will require continued collaboration at the federal, state, and local levels, along with our partnerships with retail pharmacies."
Montgomery County is not the only jurisdiction reporting fewer vaccinations this week. FOX 5 is still waiting for a response from the St. Mary’s County Health Department. However, County Commissioner John O’Conner did speak with FOX 5, saying his county was told it would get around 700 vaccines when they should be getting 960 based on the current estimated population.
"There’s a finite amount of this vaccine," said Commissioner O’Connor, who argues the state did in fact reallocate vaccines from local counties to the state-run mass vaccination sites. O’Connor told FOX 5 these were St. Mary’s County’s allocations:
- Week 4: 3,025
- Week 5: 975
- Week 6: 975
- Week 7: 2,925
- Week 8: 1,475
For Week 9, which is the next allocation, O’Connor says St. Mary’s County was told it would receive 700 doses.
"I think that the governor has said multiple times: if you are performing well, we are going to allocate that vaccine to you -- we’re depending on our local partners. I think there’s a disconnect between what is going on at the Governor’s office in his meetings and what his staff is actually informing him of what is going on," said Commissioner O’Connor
Monday evening, Anne Arundel County’s Health Department announced the cancellation of all their second Covid19 Dose vaccination clinics scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday. A press release said this is: "due to the lack of vaccine arrival from the Maryland Department of Health. The health department says over the past couple of weeks, around 7,000 second dose vaccines have been delayed. The county is aiming to reschedule for February 13th and will not impact those with a first dose appointment.