TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Within two hours of the announcement that NET Health will have a drive-thru vaccine clinic this weekend, all slots were filled. We will keep you updated when other opportunities are announced.
In collaboration with the University of Texas at Tyler and the UT Health Science Center at Tyler, NET Health will be operating drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination clinics this Friday and this Saturday, January 8th and January 9th. The drive thru Moderna vaccine clinics will be available for persons recognized as being eligible in Tier 1A and in Tier 1B.
“Our goal is for every eligible person in East Texas to easily get a COVID-19 vaccination,” says George Roberts, NET Health CEO. “Persons age 65 and older are eligible to receive the COVID vaccine, and anyone age 16 and older who have at least one chronic medical condition.”
The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is being distributed by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to NET Health, local pharmacies, hospitals, and community clinics. The COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna are administered so that the second vaccine is given at least 28 days after the first dose. Persons who receive their first dose from NET Health will be contacted later this month to be scheduled to receive their second dose.
“First responders (fire fighters, ambulance workers, police officers, etc.), last responders (funeral home employees, medical examiners, etc.), school nurses, home health workers, and health care workers who provide direct care to patients are eligible within the Tier 1A category,” says Russell Hopkins, the NET Health Director of Public Health Emergency Preparedness.
Options to register for these drive-thru vaccine clinics for eligible persons will include:
(1) Online registration by visiting the “Vaccine Updates” section of at NETHealthCOVID19.org and selecting the “Register Here” link.
(2) Phone registration, Mondays through Fridays during the hours of 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., by calling the Center for Healthy Living at (903) 593 – 7474.
(3) Persons not registered for either day can arrive in the drive-thru lanes and scan a QR code to view available appointment times for the current day, or to schedule a future appointment if there are no openings available on that day. Everyone is recommended to register before arrival.
When all available openings become full, the registration options also allow persons to enroll into our waiting list to be contacted when the next drive-thru vaccine clinics become scheduled by the NET Health Immunizations Department.
The attached PDF’s include the eligibility criteria for persons recognized by DSHS as Tier 1A priority and within Tier 1B priority populations.
For more details about COVID-19 in East Texas, visit https://www.NETHealthCOVID19.org.
Protecting health care workers is essential to keeping the health care system intact and able to care for COVID-19 and other patients, so phase 1A of vaccine distribution, when the vaccine supply is most limited, will focus on making vaccine available to health care workers.
To support this distribution, the EVAP has recommended, and Dr. Hellerstedt has approved, a tiered definition of health care workers specific to Phase 1A. During this phase, the EVAP will make recommendations based on the priority order in the Health Care Workers definition.
On Dec. 4, following guidance issued by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, Dr. Hellerstedt approved the EVAP’s recommendation to include residents of longterm care facilities in the first tier of Phase 1A so they can be among the first Texas residents to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Health Care Workers
Definition First Tier • Paid and unpaid workers in hospital settings working directly with patients who are positive or at high risk for COVID-19. Such as but not limited to: o Physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists and other support staff (custodial staff, etc.)
o Additional clinical staff providing supporting laboratory, pharmacy, diagnostic and/or rehabilitation services
o Others having direct contact with patients or infectious materials
• Long-term care staff working directly with vulnerable residents. Includes: o Direct care providers at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and state supported living centers o Physicians, nurses, personal care assistants, custodial, food service staff
• EMS providers who engage in 9-1-1 emergency services like pre-hospital care and transport • Home health care workers, including hospice care, who directly interface with vulnerable and high-risk patients
• Residents of long-term care facilities
• Staff in outpatient care settings who interact with symptomatic patients. Such as but not limited to: o Physicians, nurses, and other support staff (custodial staff, etc.) o Clinical staff providing diagnostic, laboratory, and/or rehabilitation services
o Non 9-1-1 transport for routine care o Healthcare workers in corrections and detention facilities
• Direct care staff in freestanding emergency medical care facilities and urgent care clinics
• Community pharmacy staff who may provide direct services to clients, including vaccination or testing for individuals who may have COVID
• Public health and emergency response staff directly involved in administration of COVID testing and vaccinations
• Last responders who provide mortuary or death services to decedents with COVID-19. Includes:
o Embalmers and funeral home workers who have direct contact with decedents
o Medical examiners and other medical certifiers who have direct contact with decedents
• School nurses who provide health care to students and teachers
Mortality and morbidity data collected over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic clearly demonstrates that COVID-19 has the most severe effects on people who are 65 years and older and individuals with comorbidities. Protecting these higher-risk individuals is of the utmost concern in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Texas death certificate data, more than 70 percent of the deaths directly caused by COVID-19 are among people 65 years and older. Additionally, a growing body of scientific evidence shows that adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions have an increased risk of severe disease, defined as hospitalization, admission to the intensive care unit, mechanical ventilation or death.
In Texas, Phase 1B of vaccination will focus on people for whom there is strong and consistent evidence that COVID-19 makes them more likely to become very sick or die. Preventing the disease among people who have these risk factors will dramatically reduce the number of Texans who die from the disease and relieve pressure on the healthcare system by reducing hospital and ICU admissions. Vaccination will also reduce absenteeism among the front-line workers at the greatest risk of severe disease and protect individuals at risk for health inequities. Because Phase 1B provides vaccine to higher-risk people regardless of their work sector or status, it will provide protection for a number of critical populations at an increased risk of getting COVID-19: communities that are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and other chronic diseases; teachers and school staff who ensure that Texas children can learn in a safe environment; social services workers who ensure that those in need receive care and support; workers who maintain critical infrastructure to support the Texas economy; and other front-line workers who are unable to work remotely and so are more likely to be exposed.
As Texas progresses into Phase 1B in the coming weeks, the state will work with vaccine providers and local partners to ensure that people who are 65 and older or have the medical conditions listed below and who also work in front-line and critical industries have access to the vaccine so they will be protected from COVID-19 while on the job. Texas equally will strive to ensure vaccine reaches communities with health disparities in accordance with Texas Vaccine Allocation Guiding Principles. Communication and outreach will encourage vaccine uptake among these populations during Phase 1B.
Texas Phase 1B Vaccine
• People 65 years of age and older
• People 16 years of age and older with at least one chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19, such as but not limited to:
• Cancer • Chronic kidney disease • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies • Solid organ transplantation • Obesity and severe obesity (body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or higher) • Pregnancy • Sickle cell disease • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
For more details, go to www.NETHealthCOVID19.org.