LANDOVER HILLS, Md. — People seeking COVID-19 vaccinations in Prince George's County will now be required to fill out a pre-registration form after authorities revealed as many as 50% of the people getting appointments for vaccinations in Prince George’s are coming from outside the county.
County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announced the new pre-registration requirement Tuesday afternoon.
“We've had some folks come from Montgomery County to get vaccinated here," County Chief Health Officer Dr. Ernest Carter said. “It's greater than 30% and less than 50%, that is all I know."
Carter explained that vaccine seekers are being funneled to appointments in Prince George’s County after they signed on to Maryland’s new state-run website MarylandVAX.org.
WUSA9 tested the state site Sunday night and found it does not prevent anyone from seeking a vaccine in any county where they are available, even if you are jumping ahead in line. Our test found that the site offered a resident of Baltimore County who is only 59 years old a waiting-list vaccination appointment in Prince George's County for late February.
Currently, only individuals 75 and older in the 1B vaccination group should receive vaccines, according to state guidelines.
The crossover from other counties was felt Monday at the Wayne Curry Sports and Learning Center in Landover when a big public vaccination clinic was stood up for the first time by county health authorities for the 1B group and a lot of people came from somewhere else. People were not turned away, Carter said.
"This vaccine was paid for by tax dollars," Carter said. "When they come in, they got an appointment, you give it to them. You have to balance between making sure you take care of your residents so that’s what we're doing.”
Carter said county health authorities will continue to honor out of county appointments from the state’s website until Feb. 9. At that point, only people who have pre-registered and received confirmation from the county's website will receive the vaccine.
Dr. Carter said pre-registration will better assure that the limited amount of vaccine in the county will be handed out in what he called a "more equitable" fashion.