After delays in the shipment of COVID-19 vaccine doses to Montgomery County, Maryland, due to winter weather problems, vaccination appointments were on the verge of being postponed until a new supply came in Monday afternoon.
The Maryland Health Department allocated the county 10,000 doses for last week — 4,500 first doses and 5,500 second doses — and 4,500 first doses for this week from the delayed shipment, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services told WTOP.
County officials reiterated their call for Maryland to create a statewide vaccination website, as well as a regional vaccination website, that they said would help residents get vaccinated quicker.
County Council President Tom Hucker said that residents are “very frustrated and angry” at the “chaotic” system, adding, “We could be vaccinating 10 times as many residents” if the Maryland Department of Health was not “siphoning off” doses for private providers and mass vaccination sites.
Crowel said a regional vaccination site would allow officials to target doses to particular communities who cannot travel to the state sites — there’s currently one at Six Flags in Prince George’s County, and two in Baltimore.
The county is currently working with partners, such as Connect-A-Ride, for taxi services to help residents without access to transportation to get to mass vaccination sites.
County Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz said, “It does not make any walking-around sense” that the largest county in Maryland doesn’t have a mass vaccination site.
Crowel said that the county is allocating doses to communities that have been hit the hardest, which he said is mostly Black and brown communities.