Gov. Larry Hogan visited Montgomery County’s COVID-19 mass vaccination site at Montgomery College in Germantown on Wednesday, a day before it will officially open for mass vaccination on Thursday.
The site is one of 13 mass vaccination sites that the state opened or will open, and is the only mass vaccination site in the county. The site is being operated under a joint partnership among the state, the county, the college and Holy Cross Health.
Hogan toured the site, but media members were not allowed to enter the clinic while he was there.
At a press conference that followed the tour, Hogan said the site adds to the total of about 3,000 points of vaccine distribution in the state, including health departments, pharmacies, hospitals medical providers, and community clinics.
County Executive Marc Elrich said at the press conference that there are differences of opinion between the county and state on some things, but there are other things that the state and county are united on, such as getting people vaccinated.
Hogan echoed Elrich. “We’re not going to agree on every single thing,” he said.
Elrich said the county had waited for a site for a “long time.”
“We know the biggest constraint on the state and, ultimately, the county and local jurisdictions has been the supply of vaccine. … This is going to be a big step forward for Montgomery County,” he said. “We have the capacity, and I know the state has the capacity, to vaccinate more people. We are in a race to get ahead of the virus. We’re in a race to get people vaccinated faster than the virus can spread.”
Hogan said setting up a no-appointment vaccine line at the site depends on the shipments of doses from the federal government. He also said that how long the site would remain open also depends on how many doses are received and how fast they can be administered.
About 78% of all Maryland residents over 65 years old have been vaccinated, while 46% of residents age 18 and older have received a vaccine.
U.S. Rep. David Trone and some County Council members also attended on Wednesday.
In an interview, Trone said the site was efficiently set up and that there were many “happy people.”
“Everyone was just so overjoyed at getting the vaccine and having something right here in Montgomery County in Germantown is a big win. … The real challenge from now is 60 days from now, when we’ve got to go out and find those who have not been vaccinated that are in urban areas, rural areas or have vaccine hesitancy,” he said. “The only way we’re going to get up to 85%, 95% is to go into the community and meet people where they are.”
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