February 24, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine Update:  More Than 137,000 County Residents Have Received First Dose; Daily COVID Case Rate Drops, But Testing is Still Important 

More than 137,000 Montgomery County residents have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine through all venues, which is about 13.1 percent of the County population, according to Maryland State statistics through Thursday. More than 61,000 residents (5.8 percent of the population) have received their second dose and are fully vaccinated. 

A new Vaccine Distribution Dashboard includes information and more data on COVID-19 vaccination rates. 

While the number of residents being vaccinated is increasing daily, the number of new COVID cases is going down. This week, the average daily rate of new confirmed cases of COVID-19 dropped to 10.8 per 100,000 residents. The average rate of new daily cases peaked on Jan. 12 at 49.8 per 100,000 residents. 

With this good news, the County has also seen a decline in COVID-19 testing rates—this is a trend that reflects similar trends in Maryland and nationally. County health officials continue to urge residents who believe they have been exposed to COVID or are having COVID-19 symptoms to get tested. The testing data provides important information about where active cases are located within the County.  

The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) vaccination clinics are prioritizing residents who are 75 and older (Priority Group 1B) and the remainder of frontline health care workers, public safety employees and first responders (Group 1A).  

The County has been informed that DHHS will be receiving approximately 4,500 vaccine doses weekly over the next few weeks. This number is far below the number of people eligible for vaccines and the number of people wanting appointments. However, this is the first time the County has received information beyond weekly allotments. This will help in planning appointments. 

The DHHS vaccination clinics are by appointment only. There are no walk-in vaccination sites. Even if someone is in an eligible priority group, they must have an appointment to get a vaccine. 

Residents must not forward appointment scheduling links to friends and family. The links are intended only for the direct recipient. 

To Get Vaccinated at a County Clinic: 
  • Everyone must preregister for a vaccine. People in Priority Groups 1B and 1C can now preregister. Check the County vaccine webpage for information. 
Preregistration information: 
  • Preregistration is not a vaccination appointment—it places a person in the queue to eventually get an appointment by priority group. When vaccine doses arrive, DHHS contacts residents from the preregistration list and invites them to make an appointment. 
Once preregistered, individuals will receive an invitation to make an appointment by email directly from DHHS.  The invitation will come from c19vaccination@montgomerycountymd.gov . Residents are advised to monitor their email junk and/or spam folder, just in case information ends up there rather than in their inbox. 

Individuals who have received a first dose from a DHHS-sponsored clinic will receive an email approximately four to seven days before their second dose is due and will be invited to make an appointment for a second vaccine. Those invitations will include more than one scheduling options. The Moderna vaccine (which are used by DHHS clinics) recommends a second dose be given 28 days after the first dose. The Centers for Disease Control advises that there is no maximum interval between the first and second dose, but DHHS wants to provide second doses as close to the 28 days as possible. 

In addition to the clinics operated by DHHS, hospitals, some healthcare clinics and several community partners have COVID-19 vaccines available to the public. These clinics follow the State priority guidelines, and not the rules issued by the County, so they may be vaccinating other priority groups in addition to Groups 1A and 1B (that includes residents 75 and over). 

Preregistration on Montgomery County’s vaccine page does not mean a person is registered with other locations, such as hospitals and retail pharmacies. Vaccine supply continues to be limited at all venues in Montgomery County. 

Hospitals that may have vaccines available this week include: 
Retail pharmacies that may have vaccines available this week include: 
Maryland also has multiple mass vaccination sites, although the State has not placed any in Montgomery County.  Information and registration for those venues is available on Maryland’s GoVax website. 

If individuals do not have the ability to preregister for a future vaccine appointment via the Internet, they can preregister via telephone. 

Residents are encouraged to assist their neighbors, family members and friends to preregister if they need help.  

Those who are 75 years and older without Internet access can call the Preregistration Helpline at 240-777-2982 for assistance in preregistering. The helpline is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and bilingual staff members (English/Spanish) are available. Call takers also can access a translation line to help callers with many other languages. 

The line is for preregistration only. 

Answers to general questions about vaccinations and COVID-19 can be obtained by calling 240-777-1755 seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.