Local county initiates emergency vaccination distribution

Published: Feb. 13, 2021 at 10:05 AM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - The closures of Bell County vaccination centers on Thursday and Friday and the potential for more closures next week, health leaders in Bell County have determined that the county has more doses at risk of expiring Monday than it has the capacity to distribute through its vaccination centers.

The health district said approximately 2,334 doses were determined to be in danger of expiring by midnight Tuesday, February 16th.

The county is actively working on several courses of action to ensure that none of thawed vaccines are wasted.

Those courses of action include using the existing vaccination waitlist, contacting a local healthcare provider, and engaging Bell County’s three largest school districts.

“Our first course of action was to determine the maximum number of new appointments we could add to our first dose sites on Saturday,” Bell County Judge David Blackburn said.

“We were able to quickly fill those slots by reaching out directly to individuals on our waitlist.”

At the same time, the Bell County Public Health District says they have contacted Cedar Crest Hospital in Belton to determine if the hospital had vaccinated all its staff and patients.

The hospital advised they had not and would be willing to set up an emergency vaccine site to vaccinate their staff and patients.

“For the remaining doses, we focused on local groups that would both be able to mobilize quickly, scale to the numbers that were needed on short notice, and had internal medical staff capable of administering the doses,” Judge Blackburn said.

“To that end, we have worked with Bell County’s three largest school districts to organize vaccine drives for their teachers and staff members.”

Multiple area school districts, Killeen ISD, Belton ISD, and Temple ISD each agreed to receive and administer 325 doses and will be hosting vaccine sites on Saturday,February 13th.

“We would like to extend its heartfelt thanks to Cedar Crest Hospital, Killeen ISD, Belton ISD, and Temple ISD for stepping up during this weather event and assisting the District in utilizing vaccines that would have otherwise been wasted,” The Bell County Public Health District said.

The Belton school district is holding a vaccination clinic for district employees Saturday in order to keep Bell County COVID-19 doses from risk of expiring.

The clinic will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Pittenger Fine Arts Center located at 400 North Wall Belton, Texas 76513.

The Belton ISD Health Services staff will be administering COVID-19 vaccinations to district employees today at the Pittenger Fine Arts Center.

The school district, “quickly mobilized nurses and staff volunteers to set up a vaccine site that would provide employees access to the vaccine.”

Killeen ISD will be admistering vaccinations at the transportation center.

The clinic starts at 10 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m. Saturday, February 13th.

The KISD vaccinations are for transportation employees.

“We extends its heartfelt thanks to the Bell County Public Health District for the opportunity to utilize vaccines at risk of not being administered,” Belton ISD says.

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