BOWIE, Md. — Two hours after a website popped with appointments for vaccines at Six Flags, the cars began to line up.
Starting today, the same theme park, which served as the state’s first mass testing site will now shift to mass vaccinations, along with the Baltimore Convention Center, and four more will follow elsewhere across Maryland in the weeks to come.
Despite criticism from some local health departments that the state is stripping its allotments to supply new sites like this one and more retail pharmacies, the Governor Larry Hogan says he has to plan ahead to the day when more vaccine becomes available.
“The idea eventually is to build an infrastructure that can handle millions of vaccines with thousands of vaccinators all across the state,” said Hogan.
“That’s the only way it’s going to get done. It’s not going to get done by 24 local health departments or by a couple of hospitals. It’s going to take an all-hands-on-deck from the federal, state and local government, the private sector and everybody in between.”
Calling it a soft launch, Six Flags drive thru vaccinations were anything, but massive with just 250 on its first day, but the governor says that number will soon jump to 2,000 per day and could triple that number at capacity.
With little notice, the state also opened up online registrations for shots here this morning, and the system was immediately put to the test.
“The bad news is we filled up all the available slots,” said Hogan, “but the good news is we scheduled 10,000 slots in the first 20 minutes when we turned it on at eight o’clock this morning so that’s never been done before.”