January 27, 2021

FAQs on COVID-19 in Montgomery County: Vaccines and Other Information

Why is it so difficult to get a vaccine appointment now?

Demand for vaccinations currently outpaces the available supply. When the State of Maryland receives vaccine doses from the Federal government, it distributes some to Montgomery County’s Department of Health and Human Services and other doses to County health departments across Maryland. The County health department has been receiving an average of 6,000 doses weekly.

In addition, vaccines are being distributed to hospitals, other health care systems and certain pharmacies in the County. Eventually, private physicians and retailers will receive vaccine doses, but that has not happened yet. There is information on the State of Maryland’s vaccine website about vaccination options around the County.

How do I find a vaccination site?

The County’s vaccine webpage provides information on vaccinations provided through the County’s Department of Health and Human Services. The webpage also provides links to the other health care entities in the County that are receiving vaccine doses.

The first step to getting a vaccination through the County-operated clinics is to preregister on the vaccine webpage. Currently, residents in Priority Group 1B (all tiers) and Group 1C can preregister on the web page.

Why is the County not following the same priority groups as the State?

Since supplies of vaccines are extremely limited at this time, the State of Maryland has given local counties the flexibility to determine how to move through the priority groups to make vaccines available to the most vulnerable populations in their respective communities. Earlier this week, Montgomery County began vaccinating residents in Priority Group 1B, Tier 1 (residents 75 years and older), while continuing to vaccinate those in Priority Group 1A (frontline health care workers, first responders and public safety). There are approximately 30,000-40,000 County residents in Priority Group 1A and more than 70,000 residents in the first tier of Priority Group 1B. Since vaccine distribution began, the County has received only about 32,000 doses for health department vaccine clinics.

How do I find out what Priority Group I am in?

The County’s vaccine webpage provides information about the priority groups and will help determine your designated group. The priority groups were designed to determine vaccine distribution based on the relative risk of exposure or the chance of developing serious illness if someone gets COVID-19.

What happens once I preregister?

Preregistration does NOT mean you have an appointment.

If you are in Priority Group 1A, 1B or 1C, the County will contact you when doses become available. The County will send you an email or text message with a link for scheduling your appointment and a list of available clinic dates and times. DO NOT SHARE the appointment link with others—it is only for you.

What do I do if I do not have access to a computer?

If you are eligible to preregister and do not have computer access, ask a family member or friend to help you register. You also can call the Preregistration Helpline at 240-777-2982 (open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week) for assistance in preregistering. Staff at the Helpline are not medical personnel so they will not be able to answer specific questions about the vaccine or COVID-19 in general. If you do not have an email address or a phone that can receive text messages, you will be called when it is your turn to make an appointment.

How can I keep updated on everything happening with vaccinations?

Sign up on the County’s vaccine webpage for weekly email or text message updates about the COVID-19 vaccine process and status. The County will use these updates, as well as local media outlets, the County’s website and other communication channels to provide the latest information and answer questions related to COVID-19 vaccinations.