Nacogdoches County asks permission to implement community vaccination plan for a reason

Nacogdoches County asks permission to implement community vaccination plan for a reason
WEBXTRA: COVID-19 vaccine wait

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - The state health department says COVID-19 vaccine hub locations will be published by tomorrow. The goal of this plan is to provide more people with the vaccine and a simpler way to sign up for an appointment.

Providers say something must be done to eliminate confusion at all levels.

Phone calls at COVID-19 provider locations are frequently from callers wanting an appointment to receive the vaccine. They often get a recording or someone saying--

“We don’t have a waiting list as of right now.”

And this happens for a reason explained

Jessica Sowell, spokesperson for Nacogdoches County Emergency Management.

“One thing we want to emphasize, is that the state kind of determines who those vaccines go to. It’s not a city, county distribution.”

Patience is what gets Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital CEO Gary Stokes through the wait.

“The reporting system is very tight. And somewhat difficult at times. So, they just let us know when and probably the biggest thing about that is, waste no dose.”

So, when Memorial’s first allotment of 1000 doses was not used completely by hospital staff, a limited number of phase 1 - B appointments were taken--somewhat be accident, according to Lisa King, board president for Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital.

“Word got out on social media that were giving vaccine to anybody that needed it and we got slammed.”

The hospital announced appointments will resume at the earliest date possible.

“If and when additional supplies become available,” emphasized King.

The county announced today it has asked state permission to plan for large- scale vaccine distribution.

At a walk-thru shot clinic on Thursday at the Nacogdoches Expo Center Brookshire Brothers administered 450 vaccines with assistance from SFA’s Nursing Department. It served as a trial run for a bigger distribution at a later date.

NET-HEALTH Northeast Texas Public Health District with UT-Tyler announced a drive-thru shot clinic for Friday and Saturday, Jan. 8 and 9. NETHealthCOVID19.org

Anita Humphreys, CEO at East Texas Community Health Services is confident, eventually, people will receive their vaccinations.

“Those shipments are flowing. The system is improving with every shipment that goes out. People will get immunized.”

For information of future vaccine arrivals go to https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/coronavirus/immunize/vaccine.aspx

Statement from Nacogdoches County:

The Nacogdoches joint emergency management team continues to fine tune its mass COVID-19 vaccination plan in preparation for a potential shift to a community based model. Consulting with local healthcare partners, vaccine providers, and mass vaccination campaign experts, emergency management officials have developed a plan for large-scale vaccine distribution should the opportunity arise.

At present time, approved individual healthcare providers receive vaccine directly from the State and are responsible for managing their own screening, scheduling, and vaccine administration plan. Nacogdoches County Judge Greg Sowell reached out to representatives of Governor Greg Abbott’s Office and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), requesting authorization to directly receive and distribute COVID-19 vaccines. “Our team is eager to implement our community vaccination plan,” Sowell said. “We have the capability to provide more vaccines quickly and easily to those eligible to receive them.”

2,700 doses of the Moderna vaccine have been shipped to seven local providers over the last few weeks. Brookshire Brothers Pharmacy, confined by logistical constraints, faced challenges in quickly distributing its vaccines despite a growing list of potential recipients. Nacogdoches County, the City of Nacogdoches, and the Stephen F. Austin State University’s DeWitt School of Nursing offered to support the pharmacy in a walkthrough shot clinic Thursday at the Nacogdoches County Civic Center.

Approximately 450 participants, pre-registered by Brookshire Brothers, received COVID-19 vaccinations throughout the day’s event. “I am grateful the City, County and SFA had this opportunity to support a local provider and our community” stated Nacogdoches Mayor Shelley Brophy, The shot clinic also allowed the emergency management team to analyze its plan on a smaller scale. “I am confident we’re fully prepared should the state pivot to a larger community-based vaccination model,” stated Nacogdoches Fire Chief Keith Kiplinger.

DSHS has yet to announce which local providers will eventually receive vaccine shipments in its week 5 allocations. Qualifying individuals are encouraged to monitor the DSHS, City and County websites and social media platforms for updates. A link to the DSHS Vaccination page can be found at nactx.us/COVID19 or at www.co.nacogdoches.tx.us under COVID Information.

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