New Process for Scheduling COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments
Dear Prince Georgians:
In an effort to ensure that our vaccine is distributed in an equitable manner to those who are eligible, we are announcing a new process for scheduling your COVID-19 vaccine appointments. Anyone who lives or works in Prince George’s County and wishes to receive a COVID-19 vaccine must first fill out the County Health Department’s pre-registration form. Our Health Department will then follow up with individuals who have pre-registered with a link and instructions on how to schedule a vaccine appointment, as those appointments become available based on vaccine supply. I’m encouraging every Prince Georgian to pre-register for your COVID-19 vaccine so when your turn comes, you will be able to join us in being Proud to be Protected.
As appointments become available based on our vaccine supply, the Health Department will email links to those who are eligible and have pre-registered to schedule an appointment. Filling out the pre-registration form is very simple. I went on the website myself just to make sure it would be easy for you to navigate. The pre-registration form simply requires you to fill out some basic information and allows our health officials to know when you are eligible for the vaccine. However, I’m asking you to please be patient. Due to the current limited supply of vaccines, it may take several weeks or longer before individuals receive a link to schedule an appointment from the Health Department.
As we continue to move forward into Phase 1B of our vaccination plan, I want to elaborate more on Phase 1B and what it means to our community. Individuals in Phase 1B of our vaccine distribution plan, which include seniors 75 years and older, individuals in assisted living and other congregate settings, teachers and school support staff (including higher education), child care workers, and critical government leadership for continuity of operations, MUST fill out the pre-registration form in order to receive their COVID-19 vaccination appointment. In addition, individuals who were eligible in Phase 1A and have not received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine must fill out the pre-registration form, as well. This pre-registration form will help take the guess work out of the COVID-19 vaccine scheduling process.
We recognize there are a good number of seniors who are not comfortable using the Internet. If you know a senior who does not have Internet access, we ask that you reach out to assist them. We are also training individuals to work on a new vaccination hotline that will help us offer additional assistance to allow individuals to make an appointment over the phone. We anticipate that our hotline will launch later this month.
I also want to let you know that we are making sure that Prince Georgians who are most vulnerable have access to their COVID-19 vaccination appointments. That is why the County is resetting all appointments currently scheduled after February 9 at the Sports & Learning Complex. Our Health Department will send out notices to those individuals and they will be required to fill out the pre-registration form online in order to reschedule their appointments. Individuals who have an appointment on February 9, or before, should keep their scheduled appointment, and you will not need to fill out the pre-registration form. Also, anyone who has an appointment for a second dose of the vaccine after February 9 will not have their appointment changed. To be clear, this change allows us to focus on making sure we are equitably distributing our vaccine doses to Prince Georgians who qualify under our vaccination plan.
For those of you who have appointments, I want to remind you to bring your identification to your appointment, as well as an insurance card if you have medical insurance. For those who receive a link from the Health Department to schedule a vaccine appointment, we are asking you to not use Internet Explorer, as it is not compatible with the State registration site. Instead, use Safari, Chrome, Microsoft Edge, or a smartphone in order to gain access. Again, you must make an appointment before showing up for a vaccine, as no walk-ins will be accepted.
As we ramp up our vaccine distribution efforts, Phase 1C is set to begin in Prince George’s County on Monday, January 25, 2021. During Phase 1C, individuals from 65 to 74 years of age, health and human services employees not covered by Phase 1A, and essential workers, including public transit employees and grocery store employees, will be eligible to receive the vaccine. Individuals in Phase 1C and future phases can fill out the same pre-registration form at this time. When the County enters future phases of vaccine distribution, individuals that have already pre-registered will receive a notification that they are eligible, and as appointments become available, will begin to receive links to schedule appointments.
We have also been working hard to increase our daily vaccine distribution. Last week, the number of vaccinations provided by the County Health Department increased by 461%. Also, beginning Thursday, January 21, the Sports & Learning Complex vaccination clinic will administer 1,000 vaccines per day, Monday through Friday, through the beginning of next month. All those appointments have already been filled.
In addition, we are excited to open the Southern Regional Technology & Recreation Complex (South Tech Rec) as a vaccination clinic. Next week, the facility will be used to train new vaccination staff and it is anticipated South Tech Rec will open, by appointment only, by the end of next week. We are also collaborating with the State to open a large vaccination site in the County.
This vaccination effort requires close collaboration to get as many residents and workers vaccinated as possible, so we are proud to be working closely with partners at Doctors Community Medical Center to offer vaccinations to staff at dialysis centers. This partnership allows us to protect one of our most vulnerable population from COVID-19 when they go to receive routine, but life-saving dialysis treatments. I’m also proud to announce that on Monday, January 18, our medical partners at University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center vaccinated 200 seniors. We are also expect to partner with Kaiser Permanente to help vaccinate teachers across Prince George’s County. We hope to continue these fruitful partnerships throughout Phase 1B of our vaccination plan so that more Prince Georgians, both those who live here and work here, can receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
I want to again urge all Prince Georgians to take this life-saving vaccine when you are eligible. It is my great hope that as we continue to monitor our COVID-19 data and use it as a guide, we will be able to move forward. It is in our hands to change the spread of the virus and I encourage all Prince Georgians to be vigilant and use the weapons we know can stop the spread of COVID-19. We must continue to practice social distancing, avoid unnecessary trips and gatherings, and wear a mask in public.
Thank you for your continued effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. We’re all in this together, and I am humbled by the sacrifices you’ve all made to fight this pandemic.
Yours in service,
Prince George’s County Executive