In an effort to ensure that all Prince George’s County residents receive a coronavirus vaccine, county officials are contemplating allowing walk-ins with no appointment necessary.
County Executive Angela Alsobrooks also announced at a press conference Thursday that the county’s Commission on Fathers, Men and Boys plans to assist in the effort to get more men vaccinated.
As of Thursday, 2.1 million women in Maryland received either a two-dose vaccine from Pfizer or Moderna or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the state health department reported. About 1.6 million men have been vaccinated.
Mobile vaccination units continue servicing locations where the vaccination rates are low, such as District Heights and Suitland.
“We’re doing a number of things … to making sure we are pushing out all across the community,” Alsobrooks said.
Prince George’s officials marked some of the county’s positively trending metrics:
• About 20% of the population has been fully vaccinated.
• About 460,000 county residents have now received at least one dose of a vaccine.
• About 14% of COVID-19 patients are hospitalized; hospitals are now at 50% capacity.
• On March 6, about 94,631 residents received at least one dose of a vaccine. About a month later, approximately 267,000 residents received at least one dose.
Johnson & Johnson announced this week it will pause distribution of its vaccine amid reports of six women developing blood clots afterward.
Dr. George Askew, Prince George’s deputy chief administrative officer for Health, Human Services and Education, said there have been no reports of major side effects from residents who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. So far, the county has received fewer than 1,000 doses of the vaccine.
“Because it was such a small percentage of what we were giving out, it really doesn’t impact our [vaccine rollout] plans,” he said. “It just means we’ll have to make another trip to folks [to administer two-dose vaccines]. We’re still going to be reaching the same folks.”
The county’s infection rate, or the number of people that each infected person passes the virus to, rose to 1.01, above its goal of .90.
The county joins several other counties in Maryland with a positivity rate of about 5%.
However, Prince George’s continues to outpace the rest of the state in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases. The county toll is currently 80,835.
Family gatherings remain the top cause of COVID-19 spread in the county.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations on how to safely gather can be viewed at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/small-gatherings.html.
“Family gatherings are extraordinarily risky,” Askew said. “Wonderful for us emotionally, very risky for us from a COVID standpoint.”