GERMANTOWN, Md. — The most populous county in Maryland will finally receive a mass vaccination site through the state, following ongoing attempts by county officials.
In the Montgomery County Council Session on Tuesday morning, council members learned that Montgomery College in Germantown will house Maryland's newest mass vaccination site. The exact date on when it'll open is still unclear, but officials plan to have residents lining up in the coming weeks.
The goal is to eventually administer 3,000 doses on a daily basis. Currently, the county will be getting an additional 2,000 doses from the state next week, according to Councilman Will Jawando.
"Finally! Hallelujah!" Councilman Evan Glass said in the meeting. "That has been an equity issue for the largest and most diverse county in the state having gone so long without a mass vaccination site."
Unlike other sites in Maryland, state officials agreed to partner with the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management & Homeland Security and Holy Cross Health to move forward with the plans.
Council members have been pushing for the state to prioritize Montgomery County based on size, equity issues and location.
Montgomery County Council President Tom Hucker said the state hasn't been fairly sharing doses compared to other counties with a smaller population. It started out with 10,000 doses every week but it's now down to about 4,500.
Hucker said the state had more doses sent to other mass clinics and larger retail pharmacies.
"Our understanding this [Germantown site] won't be cutting into our weekly allocation that goes to our county health departments," Hucker said.
Transportation to reach the other mass vaccination sites in the state has been a concern and nearly impossible for many residents with a lack of resources.
"That is going to save lives and provide access to people who otherwise don't have it," Councilman Andrew Friedson said. "It's going to fix a problem...it shouldn't be a journey."
More than 11% of Montgomery County residents have been fully vaccinated with 21% having received at least one dose.
Dr. Earl Stoddard of the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security there's a good chance Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be distributed at the Germantown campus mass vaccination site.