WESTERN MARYLAND (WDVM) — Rep. David Trone of Maryland’s 6th Congressional District gathered health officials from county departments on Tuesday to tackle the public’s most burning questions surrounding the vaccination process.
While Trone acknowledged the vast majority of vaccine decisions come from Maryland state officials like Gov. Larry Hogan, he felt it was important to open up the discussion and include residents in the conversation.
Trone began the webinar Q&A with some highly-anticipated news regarding the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“We expect that vaccine to receive approval this Thursday, and then final approval next week,” said Trone. “And that will begin to roll out, hopefully, March 1.”
Not long after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine begins to ship out across the country, residents of Western Maryland will likely have their own mass vaccination site — like the ones at M&T Bank Stadium — to look forward to.
“There is gonna be a mass vaccination site being planned for Hagerstown. I believe that is set to roll out about the end of March,” said Earl Stoner, Washington County health officer. “I think the target with that is about 6,000 doses per day.”
Stoner clarified that these figures are not written in stone as he has not been fully briefed on the state’s plan thus far.
Officials also said residents should not expect to have a choice when it comes to which brand of the vaccine they receive. According to one health officer, although some websites ask users to list their preferred vaccine, it’s unlikely that Marylanders will able to be picky.
“In many cases, there is only one type of product that has been made available to the health department that week. And then the other [reason] is for quality control purposes,” said Dr. Barbara Brookmyer, Frederick County health officer.
Health officials did their best to answer questions, but as more retail vaccinators like CVS and Walgreens are popping up, logistics become more challenging.
“We aren’t looped in those conversations to know what’s happening with the pharmacies,” said Dr. Travis Gayles, Montgomery County health officer. “One, in terms of the doses they receive, what types of stipulations they receive, how they’re receiving the doses.”
To watch the webinar in full, go here.