WASHINGTON — One Maryland couple said they had to wait in line for hours to receive a COVID-19 vaccination at a public facility.
The Kaplans, of Montgomery County, went to the Prince George's County Sports and Learning Complex in Landover Thursday. Richard Kaplan, 70, said he had made an appointment to receive a vaccination at a center located on the site. But Kaplan said he ultimately had to wait three hours in line just to recieve the shot that he had scheduled an appointment for previously.
"The question is why don't you have it so that the appointments don't require people to wait three hours," he said.
Kaplan said he felt very uncomfortable since much of his time spent waiting was indoors. He said he was not provided warning as to what he should come to expect at the facility.
"If they were gonna have it inside, then they better tell people what's involved," he said.
Kaplan said after sitting in a masked, socially distanced area, he was then directed to stand in a long line with more than 100 people that wrapped around the building.
He said the social distancing in that situation was worse. His wife, Susan, was not scheduled to get a vaccination that day. She said she was worried her husband may contract the disease just waiting to get a shot.
"Even though [others] were wearing masks, I felt very uncomfortable," she said "I had to leave anyhow [but] I even told my husband 'maybe you wouldn't want to get it because you have to wait there for hours.'"
WUSA9 asked the Prince George's County Health Department if it was safe to have elderly people wait indoors with a lot of people to get the vaccine. The station also inquired as to why people with appointments had to wait so long in line.
The health department responded with the following statement:
"The Health Department and its supporting agencies and partners follow and enforce CDC COVID-19 safety guidelines at all of its vaccination sites. The chairs in the waiting area are appropriately physically distanced and everyone must wear a mask over their nose and mouth at all times. The department is vaccinating eligible individuals in a safe, equitable and efficient manner and asks for the public's patience as it works to vaccinate hundreds of thousands of individuals during this historic public health emergency."
Kaplan said he is not particularly looking forward to getting his second vaccination at the center.
"I'm not thrilled about going back there," he said.