After weeks of waiting and several walkthroughs with the National Guard and Maryland health officials, Montgomery College is ready to open the doors to its Bioscience Education Center on the Germantown campus as a vaccination site.
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service crews spent Tuesday converting the center’s main foyer, meeting space and classrooms into a vaccination clinic prepared to serve about 500 Montgomery County residents per day before it transitions into one of the state’s mass vaccination sites and opens to all Marylanders.
“This is an easily accessible location in the up-county area,” said Mary Anderson of Montgomery County Health and Human Services. “It will be easier for many folks to come here than it might be to go to one of the other state vaccination sites.”
The site ultimately will replace the county’s vaccination clinic at Quince Orchard High School.
County leaders believe its size and location will benefit people in hard to reach communities.
“This coupled with our local efforts will mean that many more people will have access to the vaccination with a particular emphasis on those communities that have been more disproportionately impacted,” Montgomery County Council member Gabe Albornoz said.
It will also help the county play catch up with Gov. Larry Hogan’s vaccine rollout schedule.
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.
“Had we continued in the trickle we were on, I think it would have taken a lot longer, months not weeks,” Albornoz said.
In order to vaccinate thousands of people a day, Fire and Rescue crews will return to campus next week to administer the vaccine.
“Seeing people actually get vaccinated I think has got to be pretty satisfying for them,” Anderson said.
At its peak, the county is hoping to vaccinate about 21,000 people at Montgomery College each week.
Another vaccination site will open in Silver Spring next week.