Montgomery County officials are administering the first round of coronavirus vaccine doses for 5- to 11-year-old residents — and urged patience as demand would likely exceed supply.
Residents must sign up for an appointment to those clinics, which will run 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday and 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday.
Pfizer’s vaccine, which requires two doses, is the only one approved for 5- to 11-year-olds so far. Within the past few weeks, Pfizer got both Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approval to administer the vaccine to that age group.
The vaccines for 5- to 11-year-olds will be offered at:
- East County Recreational Center, 3310 Gateshead Manor Way, Silver Spring
- Silver Spring Civic Building, 1 Veterans Place, Silver Spring
- Montgomery College Germantown Campus, 20200 Observation Drive #4067, Germantown
They also might be offered at Lakeforest Mall in Gaithersburg, but county officials were still determining if the state health department could run a site there.
Coronavirus boosters and vaccines for those 12 years and older should be available at all four sites, officials said.
Doses for 5- to 11-year-olds will also be available at 12 middle schools countywide, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Officials have said they picked middle schools because they typically have more parking and logistical support than other schools. Those schools are:
- Banneker Middle School, 14800 Perrywood Drive, Burtonsville
- Francis Scott Key Middle School, 910 Schindler Drive, Silver Spring
- Argyle Middle School, 2400 Bel Pre Road, Silver Spring
- Neelsville Middle School, 11700 Neelsville Church Road, Germantown
- Eastern Middle School, 300 University Blvd. E., Silver Spring
- Gaithersburg Middle School, 2 Teachers Way, Gaithersburg
- Loiederman Middle School, 12701 Goodhill Road, Silver Spring
- Montgomery Village Middle School, 19300 Watkins Mill Road, Montgomery Village
- Julius West Middle School, 651 Great Falls Road, Rockville
- Newport Mill Middle School, 11311 Newport Mill Road, Silver Spring
- Silver Spring International Middle School, 313 Wayne Ave., Silver Spring
- Redland Middle School, 6505 Muncaster Mill Road, Derwood
Those 12 school sites were picked because they were in “clusters” of communities with lower vaccination rates and higher coronavirus case counts, among other factors, officials said.
James Bridgers, the county’s acting health officer, said more than half of the first wave of doses will be going to pediatricians and other health care providers versus county government, because those settings have workers trained to administer vaccines for children.
Earl Stoddard, an assistant chief administrative officer for the county, told reporters that the county and private providers will have enough to administer first doses of the vaccine for 35% to 40% of children 5 to 11 in the first week.
That’s more than the county achieved in the first week of administering vaccines to 12- to 15-year-olds, he said.
U.S. Census Bureau estimates show there are about 95,000 to 105,000 residents countywide who are 5 to 11 years old and are now eligible, officials previously said.
County Council President Tom Hucker and Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz said during Tuesday’s council meeting that they were having trouble finding appointments in the private sector to get their children the vaccine. But they urged residents to be patient in the coming weeks.
Sean O’Donnell, the public health emergency manager for the county’s Department of Health and Human Services, told reporters that the county, in both the private and public sector, should have more vaccine doses to meet demand versus previous age groups. Stoddard agreed.
“I would expect that this rollout — certainly the doses should be available to move faster than we did with 12- to 15-year-olds,” Stoddard said. “But … we’re not gonna be able to do every single person, day one. It’s going to take a little bit of time and more vaccine to do that.”
Steve Bohnel can be reached at email@example.com