Non-Prince Georgians will no longer be able to receive COVID-19 vaccinations from the county’s clinics, County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announced in a news conference Monday. The announcement comes after Marylanders from outside Prince George’s County clogged up the county’s slate of vaccine appointments.
The county used the Maryland state site, PrepMod, to schedule vaccine appointments, which did not prohibit those from outside jurisdictions from signing up for spots intended for those who live and work in Prince George’s County, Alsobrooks said.
Appointments that were made by nonresidents have now been canceled and replaced with appointments for seniors and those who work in the county. County officials will be checking for proof of residency or employment in the county for each appointment, Alsobrooks added.
However, people who don’t live or work in the county and have already received the first vaccination in Prince George’s County will be able to get the second dosage in the county, she noted.
More than 1,000 vaccines are now being administered each day, said Ernest Carter, health officer.
“We’re doing everything we can, no matter what, to prioritize Prince Georgians in our vaccine effort,” Alsobrooks said.
While residents have struggled to get vaccine appointments, the positivity rate in Prince George’s County has recently dropped to below 10 percent.
As a result of the decreased positivity rate, indoor dining will resume Friday at 25 percent capacity, Alsobrooks said. The county will begin to vaccinate teachers and school administrators on Jan. 31, she added.
“We want to ensure our teachers are protected from COVID-19 as we begin to consider when to bring students back into classrooms safely at a later rate,” Alsobrooks said.
On Feb. 1, the county will launch a vaccination hotline that will assist those who have technology barriers and allow them to schedule appointments over the phone, with the intent to help more seniors get vaccinated.
Alsobrooks urged those who fall into Maryland’s first phase of vaccination to fill out the vaccination pre-registration form to learn when they can schedule their vaccination.
The first phase includes three subsections. The 1A priority group includes health care workers, first responders and nursing home residents or staff, while those in the 1B priority group include residents in assisted living or group homes and adults over the age of 75. The last priority group, 1C, includes adults over the age of 65 and some essential workers, such as public transit and grocery store workers.
However, Alsobrooks emphasized that everyone still needs to be cautious.
“To be clear, and I don’t know how I can be any more clear than this,” she said. “This virus is still very much a part of the community.”