Starting next week, Prince George’s County, Maryland, residents could find it easier to score a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at the Six Flags mass vaccination site.
The number of appointments at the mass site that will be set aside for Prince George’s County residents each week is set to more than quadruple, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announced Wednesday.
Under the change, at least 300 “priority appointments” per day at Six Flags will be set aside for residents signed up on Prince George’s County’s preregistration list. That totals 2,100 appointments per week set aside for county residents — up from the 500 appointments since the site opened last month.
Residents who have signed up on the county’s list will be contacted by text message to make appointments, the governor’s office said.
Alsobrooks had pressed the governor for changes to the appointment system to ensure more slots for county residents.
“We have been working diligently in the county to expand vaccination access for our residents, and these new partnerships and increased access to appointments will help ensure vaccines are being distributed equitably to the hardest-hit jurisdiction in the state,” Alsobrooks said in a statement. “We thank the governor and his administration for working closely with our team to ensure Prince Georgians have increased access to these life-saving vaccines, and we look forward to continued collaboration.”
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So far, the pace of vaccinations in Prince George’s County has lagged.
Overall, about 97,000 county residents have received at least a first dose of one of three authorized COVID-19 vaccines. That’s just under 11% of the county’s population — the lowest rate in the state.
Data released by the state showed the vast majority of shots administered at Six Flags, which opened in early February, were going to residents of other counties. As of last week, of the more than 32,000 shots administered at Six Flags, just 3,500 went into the arms of Prince George’s County residents.
Hogan said the move to expand appointments for Prince George’s residents was made possible thanks to the increase in vaccine doses provided by the federal government.
“With vaccine supply from the federal government set to increase in the coming weeks, we are able to further expand priority appointments for Prince Georgians,” Hogan said.
Hogan’s office also provided updates on further efforts to get Prince George’s County residents vaccinated.
That includes a vaccine clinic at First Baptist Church of Glenarden in partnership with the state’s vaccine equity task force, which is expected to ramp up to 980 shots per day by the end of the month — a weekly total of 6,860 shots per week.
In addition, retail pharmacies at Walmart, Wegmans and Giant are offering “closed clinics” for county residents using doses supplied by the state.
All told, these opportunities amount to nearly 10,000 “priority appointments” per week for county residents, Hogan’s office said.