mass vaccination site

Montgomery County in Talks With Maryland About Mass Vaccination Site

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The Montgomery County Council announced Tuesday morning it secured a mass vaccination site, but Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan called the announcement premature.

If the deal goes through, the site would be at the Montgomery College Germantown campus.

“Our goal, and this was our goal that we agreed to with the state, was to build out the full logistics capability of the site so that it could be fully operational by April 15,” Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Director Dr. Earl Stoddard said.

After weeks of pleading with the state, Montgomery County leaders said they got the go ahead to setup a mass vaccination site.

The vaccinated population in D.C. may be overestimated in this map because some non-residents who work in D.C. are included in the totals.

Unlike state-run sites across Maryland, the county would take the lead at Montgomery College, relying on the state to fill in any logistical or operational gaps.

“Their five sites, they’re really stretching themselves thin,” Stoddard said. “They want to have more sites, so they need to change the model in which they do these things.”

Stoddard said the county would partner with the Maryland Department of Health and Holy Cross Health to have the site running at full capacity by April 15.

But a few hours later, Hogan called the announcement premature. 

“We are in discussions with a number of jurisdictions, a number of large counties, about the potential for opening up additional mass vax sites,” he said.

The site could more than triple the amount of vaccinations being administered at sites like Richard Montgomery High School.

“Not only does Germantown have a significant Latino population, it is one of our high priority zip codes, but also Montgomery County residents are more likely to utilize that site,” Stoddard said. 

At full capacity, Stoddard said, the site would provide the largest opportunity for Montgomery County residents to get vaccinated. The county continues to look at smaller venues to prepare for the influx of doses coming in the next few weeks.

“We need to have more opportunities not just in the size of this site, but in the breadth of the system to absorb more vaccine distribution,” Stoddard said.

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