By Adam Pagnucco.
Last night, Montgomery County Government sent out a blast email claiming, “Montgomery County is has [sic] taken swift steps to administer the vaccines it has received—proceeding at one of the highest rates of vaccine administration in Maryland.” The same claim is repeated on the county’s website.
Is this true?
The county doesn’t elaborate on this claim in great detail but it has support from the slide below from its Department of Health and Human Services. The slide shows the percentage of received vaccines that has been administered by each county in the state. As of January 13, MoCo administered 63% of the vaccines it has received, trailing only Caroline County (68%) and far above the state average (36%).
However, the county trails badly on another key measure: the percentage of population vaccinated. Another slide from the same presentation shows that just 2.2% of MoCo’s population has been vaccinated with at least one dose, a rate that trails 20 of the state’s 24 jurisdictions.
To be fair, MoCo doesn’t have full control of its population vaccination rate because the state allocates vaccines by county. At this point, Baltimore County has received more vaccines than MoCo even though its population is smaller.
County Executive Marc Elrich has posted a good explanation of the complications in distributing vaccines, especially the role played by the need to vaccinate people twice. It’s very informative for folks who would like to understand how the process works and what bottlenecks lie within.
In any event, by one measure, the county is exceeding the state’s vaccination rate and by another, it is falling short. The story is a complex one and, at this point, not reducible to emailed success stories.