Montgomery County officials unveil vaccine information website

Montgomery County officials unveiled a new website on Wednesday that will let residents know where they rank in the pecking order of those receiving a coronavirus vaccine.

Officials in Montgomery County, Md., Unveiled a new website on Wednesday that will let residents know where they rank in the pecking order of those receiving a coronavirus vaccine.

Health worker Dr Travis Gayles at the weekly media briefing was quick to point out that the site, which is part of the county’s COVID-19 website, will not allow you to sign up for get a vaccine or know when you can get one. – not yet anyway.

This depends on the number of doses allocated to the county by the state, which in turn is determined by how much the state receives from federal officials.

“We’re all kind of in that queue,” County Director Marc Elrich said.

But you can know which priority group and what level of that group you belong to, and you can sign up to receive email or SMS notifications on the number of doses dispensed, which groups are currently receiving the vaccine, and which group you fall.

Gayles said it was difficult to predict when the immunization queue will move to a new group, as the county finds out their state weekly allowance on weekends for the upcoming week, and the state does not. finds out what they are a week in advance. go get.

The vaccine news comes as the county’s coronavirus count remains high, officials said. The county recorded 531 new cases of the virus on Wednesday, about 10 times the daily number in August.

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“It’s not a good number,” Elrich said.

Neither the positivity rate, at 8.4%, nor the 39.1 cases per 100,000 people in the county.

Even though a vaccine is on the way, “the virus is still very much present in the United States,” Elrich said. “We are still in the midst of a major public health crisis,” and “it will be some time” before the general public can get vaccinated.

Dr Earl Stoddard, of the county’s emergency management agency, said he was “still incredibly concerned about the numbers,” adding that 20% of EMS calls on Monday involved people suspected of having COVID-19.

Gayles added that two of the county’s six hospitals are at full capacity in terms of staffed intensive care beds. “We cannot stop doing what we are doing to keep people safe,” Gayles said.

While hospitals have beds, Stoddard said, hospitals don’t have enough capacity, for example, to keep every patient in them on oxygen – such shortages are happening in Los Angeles County.

Stoddard added, “We are not happy with the current situation, but we are not afraid to blow up the system” as they feared about a month ago.

Vaccine distribution

Gayles said about 94% of the doses they have received so far – 4,047 out of about 4,300 – have been distributed. The county received 8,600 doses on Tuesday and hopes to have 5,500 administered for a total of 9,500 doses distributed.

This is “not enough to cover all eligible people,” Gayles said, adding that this number is between 40,000 and 50,000 – the number of people in priority group 1A, levels 1 and 2 who do not. not vaccinate in the long term. health facilities or hospitals where they live or work.

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Still, Elrich pointed out that Gov. Larry Hogan has recognized Montgomery County as one of five places in Maryland that “transfers doses at a good rate.”

“When he gets in the gate, we already have plans to get him out,” Elrich said.

Gayles added that the county is not waiting to confirm that all 50,000 people in Level 1 are vaccinated before moving on. They will look at the trend in the number of people from the top level entering.

The health official also said of the vaccine: “I got it two weeks ago; I didn’t grow a second head; I did not grow or shrink 6 inches. “

He understands that some people resist the vaccine for a host of reasons, saying even his relatives have told him, “We’re going to wait and see what happens with you.”


The school department has a target date of February 1 for students to switch to blended learning, with some classes being held in school buildings. The numbers are currently well above the target, and Gayles said: “I think it is going to be difficult” to reach the target, although teachers and staff can get vaccinated, “that may change. be a bit of a conversation. “

He added that he and other officials supported taking educators to the next level.

“I don’t think that by February 1,” there will be enough people vaccinated to start blended learning, Gayles said. “At a minimum, we’ll see people getting their first doses. But as always, we will continue to study the literature and engage in best practices. “

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Elrich saw signs of hope for 2021, hoping that the federal government under the new Biden administration will have “a greater willingness to spend the money needed to make businesses and entire families … I certainly think we have a better federal partner. ”

Elrich added: “There are many reasons to be optimistic this year will be better than the last.”

There is still time to follow the rules: wear masks, keep your distance, wash your hands and get tested. He said 536,000 people, 51% of the county’s population, had been tested so far, with a total of 1,083,000 tests performed.

Still, said Elrich: A clean test is only good for your next meeting.

More coronavirus news

Looking for more information? DC, Maryland and Virginia each publish more data every day. Visit their official websites here: Virginia | Maryland | DC

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