Push for mass vaccination site in Montgomery County
GAITHERSBURG, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - Maryland’s third mass vaccination site got up and running Thursday at the home of the Ravens, M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
"It’s really gonna be terrific," Governor Larry Hogan said. "It’s gonna help us ramp up our numbers considerably."
But the location is a huge issue for some.
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Montgomery County Council President Tom Hucker said he can’t understand why Baltimore now has two mass vaccination sites, Six Flags in Prince George’s County has one, there are now plans to bring others to Charles County, the Eastern Shore, and then Western Maryland – but the county that’s home to the most people in the state, as of now, is out of luck.
"We have more cases than anywhere except neighboring Prince George’s, and we deserve a mass [vaccination] site," Hucker said. "Public health 101 says you send the vaccines where the cases are."
The Governor’s director of communications, however, says it’s not so simple. Mike Ricci told FOX 5 the goal is to first get at least one mass vaccination site in each region of the state. He added that the Capital Region already has one, at Six Flags, where he said, so far, they’ve vaccinated more Montgomery County residents than people from anywhere else.
READ MORE: Maryland opens COVID-19 mass vaccination sites at Six Flags America and Baltimore Convention Center
"We have to focus on making sure there’s equitable access across the state and that’s why we’re focused on one in each region," Ricci explained.
"It just shows how out of touch they are because there are hundreds of thousands of residents of Montgomery County that don’t have a car and don’t have access to one," countered Hucker. "So they’re not driving to Prince George’s County, they’re just suffering and some of them will die because of the governor and MDH’s inequitable distribution of vaccines."
"I’m not sure where we get with all of these attacks, but we’re happy to work with them," Ricci also said. "We just want to make sure that there’s one in at least each region of the state first, and I don’t know how it’s playing politics to do that. It’s as equitable an approach as possible."
Hucker said he believes the Montgomery County Agricultural Fairgrounds in Gaithersburg would be an ideal location for a mass vaccination site in the area.