Montgomery County Preparing to Move Forward with Vaccine Phases 

The Montgomery County health department (DHHS) is preparing to begin COVID-19 vaccinations for Priority Groups 1B, tiers 2 and 3, and Group 1C Tier 1, to include residents ages 65-74, County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles said during a media briefing Wednesday.

Within the last week, the county has doubled down on sending vaccine appointment registration links to residents ages 75+, within Priority Group 1B tier 1, to make sure no one is missed, Gayles said. Group 1B tiers 2 and 3 include frontline essential workers like public transit workers, education staff, food and agricultural workers and grocery store workers. Phase 1C tier 1 includes residents ages 65-74. Gayles said the county will begin sending out registration links in the very near future, “likely today.” But, he emphasized that doses are limited and not everyone in the expanded groups will receive a link on Wednesday.

County Executive Marc Elrich said about 161,000 residents have received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose, and about 80,000 received the second. A little more than 70% of residents ages 75+ have received their first vaccine dose, he said.

Emergency Management and Homeland Security Director Dr. Earl Stoddard said at least 150,000 residents are included in Group 1B, tiers 2 and 3, and Group 1C tier 1.

“This is the largest group we have opened up to, to date, and therefore we’re going to be in this phase for a while,” Stoddard said. The county health department currently receives about 4,500-6,500 doses weekly from the state, he said.

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About Maryam Shahzad

Maryam is a reporter with Montgomery Community Media. She graduated from the University of Maryland in 2019 with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism. Previously, she was an intern with MCM. She can be reached at mshahzad@mymcmedia.org or on Twitter @maryam_mcm.

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