Montgomery County Health Officer: “zero tolerance” for skipping the vaccine line

Maryland

ROCKVILLE, Md. (WDVM) – Montgomery County officials held a press conference Thursday afternoon to give an update on the status of their county-wide vaccinations.

As of January 21, Montgomery County has reportedly received 27,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine, with 99.6% of them being administered.

Montgomery County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles says they are still working to vaccinate members in the 1A group of eligibility before they can move to groups 1B and 1C, which include senior citizens and essential workers.

“So as we get them, we are putting them out there,” Dr. Gayles said. “But we have a long way to go in terms of achieving all of the individuals who meet the criteria based upon the eligibility criteria that has been set forth.”

Dr. Gayles mentioned the county has noticed an issue of vaccine appointment links being distributed throughout the county and people ineligible for group 1A showing up and being turned away for vaccine appointments.

Dr. Gayles says “Skipping the line” will not be tolerated.

“We recognize that some folks were simply doing what they thought was appropriate because someone sent them a link,” Dr. Gayles said. “But I will say this very clearly: to anyone else who is unscrupulously using the links or trying to register ahead of time, we will have zero tolerance for that behavior.”

County Executive Marc Elrich says there are reasons to be optimistic with companies ramping up their vaccine production and more vaccines being approved for development, but it will still take time.

“If I get 7,300 new doses a week and I have a senior population of 75,000 people, if that number of new doses doesn’t change, that’s a 10-week long line,” Elrich said.

The county is preparing to eventually start vaccinating the 1B and 1C groups by having people pre-register for appointments

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