COVID-19 vaccination hubs established in 2 Central Texas counties; appointments required
(KWTX) – COVID-19 vaccination hubs have been established in two Central Texas counties as part of a statewide effort to ramp up vaccinations, but appointments are required.
The Waco-McLennan County Health District, which has received 1,500 doses of the Moderna vaccine, opened an online appointments website on Sunday and all available appointments were booked for a free vaccination clinic Tuesday at the Waco Convention Center.
Residents may text the word “vaccine” to 22828 and provide email addresses to receive notification of the next shipment of vaccine.
The Bell County Public Health District will receive 3,900 doses of vaccine this week, which will be distributed through two vaccination centers, one on each side of the county.
“As more vaccines arrive, and as resources allow, there may be additional vaccine centers opened,” the health district said in a press release Monday.
The health district already has more than 4,000 on a wait-list for vaccinations.
“In accordance with state guidelines and protocols, the plan is to begin scheduling vaccination appointments for eligible recipients within 24-48 hours of the vaccines being delivered,” the health district said.
The health district plans to launch a new appointments system for those eligible for vaccinations as early as this Thursday.
Now eligible for vaccination are those covered by Phase 1A of the state’s vaccination distribution plan, including frontline healthcare workers and residents and employees of long-term care facilities and those covered by Phase 1B of the plan including residents 65 and older and residents 16 and older with medical conditions that puts them at risk of severe COVID-19 illness.
The Texas Department of State Health Services announced the 28 hubs Sunday and said the hub providers will get more than 158,000 doses of vaccine this week.
Coryell Health received 600 doses on Dec. 23, but won’t receive additional vaccine this week and officials aren’t sure when the next shipment will arrive or how many doses it will include.
The first doses were administered to frontline healthcare workers, first responders, essential workers and residents of Coryell Health RehabLiving and Assisted & Independent Living at The Oaks, as well as Hillview Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
“In some ways, Coryell Health is lucky to have received the vaccines we have, as sixteen hospitals in Texas have not received any vaccines. Some of those hospitals have been able to benefit by sharing of other hospitals or clinics, but some haven’t any doses for their front line workers,” Dr. Jeff Bates, Coryell Health chief medical officer said.
“We are all at the mercy of the state.”
Residents who want to be added to the list for the vaccine should call (254) 248-6381.
The Central Texas Veterans Health Care System has started offering Moderna’s vaccine to enrolled veterans who are 85 or older.
“Large scale vaccination is the key to ending the disruption of the COVID-19 virus. My team will not rest until we have vaccinated every veteran enrolled in our health care system who wishes to be immunized,” Medical Center Director Michael L. Kiefer said.
“We have several thousand doses for Veterans 85 and older; however, if unused, we will expand to younger Veterans.”
The Central Texas VA received its initial shipment of vaccine during Christmas week and used it to vaccine veterans living in the facility’s community living center and high-risk employees.
As of Jan. 6 almost 1,800 employees and 100 veterans had been vaccinated.
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