Montgomery County’s announcement that a mass vaccination site will be located at Montgomery College’s Germantown campus was premature.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says no decision has been made, but residents of the largest county in the state say a mass vaccination is needed there.
“Like right now, my parents are on the wait list to get vaccinated,” resident Angel Alva said. “And it’s been a couple of days, I think like a week and a half, so I guess it would make sense.”
On April 1, the county health department loses use of its vaccination sites at Richard Montgomery and Quince Orchard high schools as students return to school, so the county is preparing Montgomery College’s Germantown campus as a vaccination site, hoping to show the state it has the capacity to grow.
“We want to be able, if the vaccine is available, to do the 3,000 doses a day,” Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Director Dr. Earl Stoddard said. “That’s our goal to have every logistics, personnel, traffic flow, all that stuff, in line for April 15 … to be able to do 3,000 shots a day starting that day.”
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.
Mass vaccination sites can deliver 6,000 doses a day, but they are located in Baltimore, Prince George’s and Charles counties, which can be hard for Montgomery County residents to get to if they don’t have a car.
Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich calls it an example of racial inequality.
“Uber ride for someone who doesn’t have a car to make this journey is like $100 round trip to some of these places, so it’s not accessible,” he said. “Whatever we’re doing ought to be spread out among the state so everybody can get access to it.”
Hogan is considering expanding eligibility for the vaccine, but at this point, Montgomery County leaders are opposed because it will increase demand for doses they don’t have.