Montgomery County pushing boosters, child vaccinations ahead of suspected surge

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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — 93% of Montgomery County residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. That milestone comes nearly a year after the very first COVID-19 vaccinations began.

The strategy has changed a lot since then, now focused on fighting off the predominant delta variant and the new omicron variant with booster shots and pediatric vaccinations.

The new omicron variant has yet to be detected in the county, and there’s still much left to learn about it, but it’s certainly something county leaders are keeping a close eye on.

“We’re obviously bracing ourselves for what we’re seeing in other parts of the country and other parts of the world. We’ve got to know the rhythm of this virus and I think we anticipate a spike,” said Montgomery County Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz.

The demand for more doses is there, with over 214,000 vaccine boosters already administered and 35% of county 5 to 11-year-olds receiving at least one shot in just the last few weeks.

On Monday morning, health officials say a very welcome shipment of 23,000 pediatric doses arrived in the county.

“The demand was high enough that even though we were asked to hold some vaccine in reserve, it really just didn’t make sense because of such high demand. We have not had enough vaccine up until this point to keep up with that demand,” said Sean O’Donnell, the county’s emergency preparedness manager.

Officials during Monday’s briefing highlighted slightly higher levels of transmission in the Upcounty, in areas like Clarksburg and Damascus, and in more western areas like Poolesville. They say residents of those areas should be extra vigilant and continue masking up indoors.

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