Montgomery County has returned to the elevated “high” community level of COVID-19, according to County data and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
COVID-19 cases also are increasing throughout the nation as Omicron’s BA.5 variant has become the predominant strain circulating. The BA.5 variant spreads easily, and while symptoms are generally not severe, it is still important to practice important COVID-19 prevention steps.
Based on high community level, the CDC recommends the following steps:
- Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines.
- Wear a well-fitting face covering indoors in public, regardless of your vaccination status.
- Get tested if you have symptoms or are exposed.
- If you are high risk for severe illness from COVID-19, talk to your healthcare provider about additional precautions and whether you are a candidate for treatments.
County Offering COVID-19 Vaccines to Children 6 Months to 5 Years
Montgomery County continues to vaccinate children ages 6 months to 5 years old. To date, nearly 5,000 children in this age group have been vaccinated. Parents are encouraged to protect their children and get them vaccinated.
The Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna vaccines were recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Multiple vaccination clinics are held weekly and appointments are encouraged, but not required. Learn about upcoming clinics and make an appointment at www.GoVaxMoCo.com.
The Maryland Department of Health also is providing vaccines to pediatricians and participating private local pharmacies.
“It is good news that this last age group is now eligible to receive their vaccine doses,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “We know that many parents are anxious to get their babies and young children vaccinated as quickly as possible. As we have seen with previous vaccine rollouts, we expect great demand over the next couple of weeks for these vaccines with limited supply available. Because the majority of the vaccines are going to private pediatric providers, we encourage all parents to check with their pediatrician’s office before using our website to sign up for an appointment. I am grateful for the preparation, planning and outreach efforts from DHHS and our community partners to ensure equitable access to these vaccines. Getting vaccinated and boosted is important to our COVID mitigation efforts, and we continue to encourage everyone to make sure they are up to date on their vaccinations.”
County-operated clinics for this age group will focus on weekend clinics and will include some weekday evening hours. Appointments are required at this time. The County will continue to receive doses from the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), with the majority of doses going to private physicians and pharmacies.
“We know that many parents have been anxiously awaiting the approval of the COVID-19 vaccine for younger children,” said James Bridgers, the acting County health officer. “Because vaccine delivery amount will take some time to ramp up, parents are urged to be patient, as there will not be enough supply initially to vaccinate all eligible children immediately. The Maryland Department of Health has assured local health departments across the State that vaccine supplies will continue to be distributed weekly.”
The County will work to ensure the vaccine is distributed equitably, which includes hosting clinics in areas where vaccination rates are lower. County-operated clinics will require appointments, initially, to ensure that there is enough vaccine at each site. MCPS is working with DHHS to help community members make appointments.
For the latest COVID-19 updates, visit the County’s COVID-19 website.