During a virtual town hall-style meeting for the Asian American community Tuesday night, Montgomery County, Maryland, leaders discussed the importance of getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
Participants in the meeting were urged to preregister for vaccination, even though the current supply is limited.
County Executive Marc Elrich said that while more than 300,000 residents are currently eligible for COVID-19 vaccine, the county is receiving 15,000 doses per week.
“Those two numbers don’t work; this is why you can’t get an appointment quickly,” Elrich said.
“This is why when people open for appointments, they disappear very, very rapidly — it’s all because there aren’t enough doses to go around,” Elrich told the online session.
The Montgomery County Office of Community Partnerships and the Asian American Health Initiative of the county’s Department of Health and Human Services hosted the town hall.
Elrich told the participants that the county health department is targeting its weekly share of 4,500 doses to be used for seniors 75 years and older.
“This group has made up almost 50% of the deaths in Montgomery County, so it’s a highly vulnerable, high-priority community for us,” Elrich said.
Elrich said the county has vaccinated about half of its 75 and older population.
While the county executive encouraged residents to preregister for the vaccine, he also said that he doesn’t expect the county to have ample supply until the end of March.
Residents can preregister on the county’s vaccine website.
Elrich also told members of the Asian American community that hate crimes against Asian Americans are on the rise across the U.S., and he held former President Donald Trump responsible for making the virus, which broke out in Wuhan, China, in 2019, “a Chinese issue.”
“The county is not going to tolerate hate crimes against the Asian American community. If you experience any hate/bias incident, any incident, please call the police and report it,” Elrich said.
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