TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - More doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine arrived in East Texas on Monday. And just hours after being delivered to Brookshire’s and Super One Foods pharmacies, shots were already being given to those eligible.
“The Moderna vaccine can be stored in a freezer for up to six months and in the refrigerator for up to 30 days, so it’s a lot easier for a retail pharmacy to handle,” said Charlotte Weller, Pharmacy Health Services Director for Brookshire’s Grocery Company.
Weller said so far Brookshire’s and Super One pharmacies have vaccinated about 1,000 people, and more doses were being given on Monday.
“It is a phased approach, so we are giving vaccines primarily to health care workers and long-term care facility residents. But we are also following the hierarchy in order to not have any wasted doses. So that includes other health care workers, school nurses, mortuary workers, and then recommendations for people that fall into 1B, essential workers and those that are high risk.”
In a letter released last week, the state health commissioner said “the time to vaccinate willing individuals is now.” He said it’s clear that a significant portion of the vaccine is still sitting on the shelf, prolonging the pandemic.
A DSHS official tells KLTV that Texas remains in Phase 1-A, but recognizes there are providers in a position to move forward, allowing them to go to Phase 1-B, which includes those over 65 and people with a chronic medical condition.
Right now, Brookshire’s and other pharmacies are giving the vaccine by appointment only to those who are in the correct phase.
“As far as the general public, we’ll probably be getting to them in the spring, but we are going to follow the guidelines that are set forth by the state, and right now the primary focus is health care providers and long-term care facilities.”