covid-19 vaccine

Some Prince George's County Residents With Appointments Turned Away at Vaccination Sites

Shared links to register and a faulty state vaccine website have given some false hope

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Some residents in Prince George’s County book appointments online to get vaccinated against COVID-19, but when the day comes, wait in line only to be turned away at the door.

That's what happened to a Prince George’s County woman and her 74-year-old husband who recently suffered a stroke when she booked an appointment for him to get the vaccine.

When Cheryl Brooks and her husband from Bowie finally got to the front of the line to check in at the Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex, they were turned away.

Brooks said she was asked how old her husband was, and then was told she'd have to make another appointment.

"I said, ‘Excuse me?’” Brooks said.

If he was just a year older, Brooks' husband could've kept his appointment. The couple is not alone in their frustration.

"It gives no one any pleasure to turn someone away at all,” said Gina Ford, a spokesperson for Prince George’s County.

Ford said that one day there were 1,200 appointments sent out to residents and over 1,500 people showed up, because the links to register were being shared.

Another reason for the issues could be the state-run website, according to Ford. The site has proven to have glitches and may approve people who are eligible in the eyes of the state, but not the county.

When that happens, people who don't yet qualify can reserve appointments that are denied at the site, which also contributes to longer lines.

Another reason for the issues could be the state-run website, according to Ford. The site has proven to have glitches and may approve people who are eligible in the eyes of the state, but not the county.

"There are in fact instances where people come with actual appointments and get turned away because they are not eligible for county health department sites based on our 1a (and) 1b criteria,” Ford said.

The county stresses that if someone wants to get vaccinated in the county through the health department, it's very important that they preregister.

Brooks' not sure what went wrong with her appointment, but she knows how being turned away felt — especially for her husband.

“He seemed not to understand that we weren't going to get the shot,” Brooks said. “He said, ‘Well, where are we going now?’ I said, ‘Baby, we are going back to the car.’"

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