MARYLAND, USA — Three more mass COVID-19 vaccination sites are set to open across the state of Maryland this month, according to Gov. Larry Hogan.
During his weekly news conference Tuesday afternoon, Hogan announced that state officials have secured site access for a new COVID-19 mass vaccination site in western Maryland.
The new site, which officials say is set to open to the public by the end of the month, will be at the Hagerstown Premium Outlets in Hagerstown. Meritus Hospital will be the clinical partner, Hogan said.
When the Hagerstown vaccination site opens, Hogan said the state will have at least one mass vaccination site in each region. The state's mass vaccination site on the Eastern Shore at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center will open by March 18.
Hogan added the mass vaccination site at the Blue Crab Stadium in Charles County -- which will serve southern Maryland -- will open this Thursday, a week ahead of schedule.
At Six Flags America in Prince George’s County, the mass vaccination site is set to double capacity to administer more than 4,000 vaccines per day. The new site at M&T Bank Stadium will be administering up to 2,000 vaccines daily. Hogan added that the Baltimore Convention Center site will prioritize vaccinating underserved communities throughout Baltimore County and the city.
For opening more mass vaccination sites across the state, officials are in active discussions with counties that have expressed an interest in hosting a site. However, Hogan stressed that opening a new site is "contingent on vaccine supply."
Last week, Maryland announced plans to launch a statewide registration portal for its mass vaccination sites during a Senate Vaccine Oversight Workgroup virtual meeting.
The new registration system will launch this month and allows eligible residents to pre-register for appointments.
“In March, we’re going to be launching a statewide preregistration system to support our state-run mass vaccination sites and this is going to allow us to manage the flow of appointments, which we're very excited about,” Acting Health Secretary Dennis Schrader said. "It will also help us to coordinate with county health departments and allow both mass vaccine sites and the local health departments to manage appointments.
Schrader acknowledged that while supplies still remain limited currently, the registration portal is a preparatory step for a future when vaccines are widely available.