January 20, 2021

County Prepares to Move to Phase 1B COVID-19 Vaccine Schedule, But More Vaccines Needed to Meet Demand; Those 75 and Older Can Preregister

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has announced that the State has moved into Phase 1B of distributing COVID-19 vaccines. Phase 1B includes people age 75 and older. However, the Montgomery County Government has not yet received enough vaccine from the Maryland Department of Health to meet the demand of those in Priority Group 1A who are seeking the vaccines. The County is prepared to distribute more vaccines—it just cannot control how many doses it receives each week. 

The County will begin vaccinating those in Priority Group 1B as soon as it can, while continuing to vaccinate those in Priority Group 1A.  

The County Department of Health and Human Services is planning Coronavirus vaccine clinics for residents 75 years and older. Individuals must be residents of Montgomery County and be 75 years or older.

Residents 75 and older can pre-register to receive vaccines when they are available by going to https://tinyurl.com/yyjjrb8f.

The County is has taken swift steps to administer the vaccines it has received—proceeding at one of the highest rates of vaccine administration in Maryland. State statistics through Tuesday, Jan. 19, show that Montgomery County Government’s health department had administered 93.9 percent of the vaccines it had received through that time (18,694 of the 19,900 vaccines it had received).

Including vaccines that have been directly delivered to health services/hospitals in the County (which are not included in the statistics for doses delivered directly to the County for distribution), Maryland statistics, through Jan. 20, estimate 35,228 individuals in the County had received a first dose of the vaccine and 3,926 individuals have received a second dose

The County will not wait until everyone in a specific group is vaccinated before moving to the next group, but it is aiming to get maximum uptake of vaccinations by each group. “Herd immunity” is accomplished when at least 80 percent of those eligible to be vaccinated are given shots (both doses).

Vaccinations are by appointment only. The County will provide a link to the appointment system when it moves to the next priority groups.

The County is following CDC and Maryland Department of Health guidance.

The County has established a Vaccine Dashboard to provide updated information on the distribution of vaccines. The information includes the number of vaccines received and the number distributed.

The dashboard also establishes the priority list for the order of people to receive vaccines in Montgomery County.

Priority Group 1 A (Tier 1) recipients will include:
  • *Hospital personnel
  • *Long Term Care Facilities (staff and residents)
  • *Development Disability Agency group homes
  • *Assisted Living Facilities
  • *Rest & Rehabilitation Facilities
  • *Delivered via pharmacy partnership
Priority Group 1 A (Tier 2) will include populations with frequent exposure to individuals with known COVID-19 and/or providing services essential to the maintenance of public health and healthcare systems during the COVID-19 pandemic. This group will include:
  • EMS
  • Vaccinators (LHD, school nurse, etc.)
  • Testing sites – testers/onsite registration
  • Public Health – COVID response
  • Urgent care
  • Primary care
Priority Group 1A (Tier 3) will include populations with risk of exposure to individuals with suspected COVID-19 and/or providing services essential to the maintenance of public health and health care systems during the COVID-19 pandemic. This group will include:
  • Dental practices
  • Pharmacists
  • Other health care professionals (e.g., outpatient specialties, optometrists, physical therapists, podiatrists, community health workers, in-home nursing staff)
  • Detention Centers staff
  • Homeless shelters staff
  • Law enforcement (patrol/public-facing)
Priority Group 1A (Tier 3) will include:
  • Fire rescue 
  • 9-1-1 dispatchers
  • Behavioral health (non-telehealth) – e.g., residential/recovery
  • School nurses (non-vaccine/non-testers)
  • Lab workers
  • Morticians/funeral home staff
  • Surgical centers
  • Other providers licensed by Maryland
Priority Group 1B (Tier 1) consists of:
  • Adults age 75 years and older
Additional details on the County’s distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, including the groups in Priority Groups 1B (Tier 2) and Priority Group 1C, can be found on the website