GAITHERSBURG, Md. — Folks showing up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at one of Montgomery County's COVID-19 clinics on Saturday morning were left surprised to see that there was no staff at the location.
WUSA9's Adam Longo said people who intended to get COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots at Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services Lakeforest Mall Vaccination Clinic in Gaithersburg, left with no shot in their arms.
Individuals arrived at the location where a mobile COVID-19 vaccination unit was said to be and was instead welcomed with no one there to distribute vaccines.
The Maryland Department of Health told WUSA9 that the site was closed due to the weather:
"The Lakeforest Mall site was closed on Friday as a safety precaution related to sustained high-speed winds. The site remained closed on Saturday for the same reason. A liaison was posted at the site in order to communicate information about the closure, and the appropriate partners from the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services were notified."
According to a tweet posted by the City of Gaithersburg this week, the Lakeforest Mall location was supposed to be open for operation Saturday. The city advertised free COVID-19 vaccinations for ages 12 years old and up between Nov. 23-24 and Nov. 26-28 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Evelyn Parto said she's frustrated.
“I was here, doing my best to have my booster, and they are not here. I went to the website and they said it was going to be open from nine to five and nobody is here. They are not serious with what they have on their website,” Parto said.
Others stopped by to get tested. Baleia Seballos said she's been to this location before to get tested without having an appointment.
“I wanted to take the PCR test because I need it for my job on Monday. It makes me feel bad because I don’t know where I can go. It was the only place close to my house that I can go to, now I don’t know where to go. I’m trying to find an appointment with CVS or Walgreens," said Seballos.
The city even encouraged walk-ups at the clinic and stated that Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines would have been made available.
WUSA9 reached out to the county's health department for additional clarification on the "no show" of staff. We are still awaiting a response.
Lakeforest Mall Vaccination Clinic is a part of Maryland’s GoVAX Mobile program, which provides free COVID-19 vaccinations to residents.
This story is developing. WUSA9 will provide the latest update as additional information becomes available.