ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Starting this week, Maryland will set aside weekly blocks of “community-based priority appointments” for COVID-19 mass vaccination sites.
They had already done this for Six Flags America, giving Prince George’s County residents 2,100 priority appointments per week at the site.READ MORE: 10% Of Baltimore City Population Received At Least One Dose Of COVID-19 Vaccine, Officials Say, Urge Patience
“As we continue to ramp up the capacity of our mass vaccination sites, we are also focusing on ensuring equitable access for Marylanders,” said Governor Hogan. “Using both our call center and text-based outreach, we are working with local health departments to get shots into arms of our most vulnerable populations.”
M&T Bank Stadium: The state will provide at least 2,100 priority appointments each week for Baltimore City residents at the M&T Bank Stadium site. This is in addition to the Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital’s focus on city residents in underserved zip codes.
Regency Furniture Stadium: For the Southern Maryland mass vaccination site, the state will provide at least 2,100 priority appointments per week—divided equitably by population—for residents of Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary’s counties.
Wicomico Youth and Civic Center: For the Eastern Shore mass vaccination site, the state will provide at least 2,100 priority appointments per week—divided equitably by population—for residents of Wicomico, Worcester, Somerset, and Dorchester counties. The Eastern Shore site is set to open this Thursday, March 18.
Hagerstown Premium Outlets: For the Western Maryland mass vaccination site, the state will provide at least 2,100 priority appointments per week—divided equitably by population—for residents of Washington, Allegany, and Garrett counties. The Western Maryland site is set to open next Thursday, March 25.
Six Flags America: Last week, the governor and Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announced that the state will provide at least 2,100 priority appointments per week for Prince Georgians at the Six Flags America mass vaccination site.
Marylanders in Phase 1 eligible populations are now able to pre-register online at covidvax.maryland.gov or by phone through the state’s COVID-19 vaccination support center at 1-855-MD-GOVAX (1-855-634-6829).
The state said these are the “minimum allotments,” and may increase once more supply becomes available across the state.
Hogan also defended lifting capacity limits on restaurants and retail businesses even as more contagious COVID-19 strains increase. Numbers from the CDC show 232 variant cases in Maryland.READ MORE: Baltimore Mayor, Gov. Hogan Clash Over Available COVID Vaccine Doses For City Residents
“We’re obviously focused on the health side and on the health of our economy and worrying about our small businesses and putting people back to work, and so we did find that middle ground I think,” he said on an appearance on CNBC.
Throughout the entire pandemic, Maryland has taken a balanced approach to protect public health and to help our small businesses get safely back to work. That's why our health metrics and the health of our economy are performing better than other states. pic.twitter.com/ca4EBPAkOe
— Larry Hogan (@LarryHogan) March 15, 2021
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott and Gov. Hogan clashed in late February over prioritizing people living in the areas where the mass vaccination sites are located- specifically Baltimore City residents not getting prioritized for the two Baltimore sites- M&T Bank Stadium and the Baltimore Convention Center.
“Half of the doses that are given at those sites should go to the folks who live in that jurisdiction,“ Mayor Scott said at the time.
He criticized the state for failing to provide an equitable share of vaccine to city residents—and for what he called a “broken” appointment system.
“Week after week, the governor has refused to share where the state is allocating doses in Baltimore City,” Scott said then.
Gov. Hogan shot back, calling those claims false.
“The mayor made several comments for like a solid week about Baltimore City wasn’t getting enough vaccines, and that was just false,” Hogan said on February 26. Baltimore City did get far more than their allocation would be—based on population. They got more than all the counties that are much bigger, so I think Baltimore City is the fifth largest population and they got the number one amount of vaccines so it’s just false factually.”
That comment brought backlash from several Baltimore City leaders.
Former Baltimore health commissioner Dr. Leana Wen tweeted Hogan’s response “is out of bounds. Maryland should actually focus on vaccinating MORE vulnerable people.”