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Maryland needs centralized vaccination scheduling | READER COMMENTARY

A Maryland resident receives her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in the parking lot of Six Flags on February 5, 2021 in Upper Marlboro. According to Gov. Larry Hogan, who has been criticized for the state’s botched and confusing vaccine rollout, the appointments were all booked within 20 minutes. (Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post).
A Maryland resident receives her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in the parking lot of Six Flags on February 5, 2021 in Upper Marlboro. According to Gov. Larry Hogan, who has been criticized for the state’s botched and confusing vaccine rollout, the appointments were all booked within 20 minutes. (Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post). (Michael Robinson Chavez / HANDOUT)

I was stunned by Dennis Schrader’s remark that the flood of bookings made at Six Flags shows the benefits of a decentralized approach to vaccination where people can choose to go wherever is most comfortable and convenient (“More doses going to Six Flags than city site,” Feb. 17). It shows exactly the opposite.

My wife, a Baltimore resident, registered for a vaccination at the Baltimore Convention Center as soon as it was opened. She has heard nothing. Subsequently, she also registered at the Six Flags site (and countless others) and was scheduled at Six Flags for her first shot on Friday. How can Mr. Schrader think that it is more comfortable and convenient for her to drive 45 minutes each way to Six Flags for each of the two shots, when she could walk more quickly to the Baltimore Convention Center? At least she is fortunate to have a car for transport as many in the city do not. She is going to Six Flags because that is where the vaccine is.

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Gov. Larry Hogan states, “We need more damn vaccines... We have no control whatsoever over the supply problem.” He is correct but fails to acknowledge that the distribution of the vaccine, over which he has total control, has been grossly mishandled. As many of our elected officials have been pleading, we need a centralized scheduling system. Citizens would be prioritized as they register for vaccinations, and vaccines delivered to areas according to where they are needed.

You should not send vaccines to areas where you wish people would register, but to where they have registered. There should be a concerted effort to encourage people, particularly those reluctant for whatever reason, to be vaccinated and aid should be given to people who need help in scheduling their appointments. But the distribution should be on a proportionate basis to where people who have scheduled live. That would make it most comfortable and convenient.

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Wayne Porter, Baltimore

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