ROCKVILLE, Md. (WDVM) — Montgomery County has opened up the COVID-19 vaccine to some of those in Group 1B, which includes residents over 75. They’re doing it with the help of large hospital partners like Adventist Health Care and Holy Cross Health.
Montgomery County residents over age 75 must pre-register for vaccine appointments online.
The move means more people have access to appointments, but Montgomery County leaders say they haven’t finished vaccinating Group 1A and don’t have enough doses to get through everyone quickly. Health officials and local leaders say the state isn’t taking an equitable approach to vaccine distribution.
“Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County are all getting under-allocations from the state. I can’t explain why Governor Hogan is giving us so few doses and small rural counties so many more compared to their population,” Montgomery County Council President Tom Hucker said on Monday.
According to data from the Maryland Department of Health, only four percent of Montgomery County residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Comparing numbers with more rural counties, eight percent of residents in Garrett County to the west and 10 percent of residents in Talbot County across the Chesapeake Bay have received their first dose.
“We’re committed to getting everybody vaccinated as quickly as we can. I have not been in a math class for many years, but the simple math, as the council president laid out, the numbers don’t add up,” Chief Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles said Monday morning.
Group 1A and those over 75 in 1B make up well over 150,000 people in Montgomery County, and so far 44,000 of them have received their first dose according to state data. County leaders say they get only a few thousand doses per week from the state and do not expect that number to go up any time soon.