ROCKVILLE, Md (WDVM) – As Montgomery County opens registration spots for priority groups, officials continue to voice their concerns about vaccine supply and appointment links within the county.
County Executive Marc Elrich says the state’s system used for scheduling a vaccination has no individual links to prevent sharing and can’t differentiate applicants within priority groups, letting people intelligible for the vaccine “skip the line.”
“It was designed for normal vaccines and people going on there and getting appointments in the normal world,” Elrich said. “It was not designed for COVID and it was not designed for stages.”
Elrich says until this system is fixed, they will continue to see issues of people sharing vaccination links, jumping in line, and slowing down the vaccination process for priority groups.
Encouraged by President Biden’s plan to increase the federal supply of vaccines, elrich says that it will still take time before there’s a return to normal.
“We know people are eager to get their shots, but until the supply changes, that is going to be very very difficult,” Elrich said. “… There is no normal until people are vaccinated, let’s just be honest about that. We don’t get there until we get the vaccines done.”
In the meantime, county officials are urging residents to be patient and considerate when making appointments, especially when making multiple appointments hoping to get the vaccine.
“We would strongly request that if you do that, please, when you get an opportunity that is what you are going to utilize, cancel the other opportunities,” Director Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management & Homeland Security Dr. Earl Stoddard said. “Or make it clear that you’re not going to accept the other opportunities so you’re not holding slots that you do not intend to use.”