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Texas designates COVID-19 vaccination hub in Texarkana

That means state’s goal is to provide health system with an ongoing supply of vaccine, doctor says
Rounds was serving as interim president at the Texarkana hospital since September.
Rounds was serving as interim president at the Texarkana hospital since September.(Fred Gamble (custom credit))
Updated: Feb. 8, 2021 at 7:38 PM CST
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TEXARKANA, Texas (KSLA) — Appointments to get vaccinated against COVID-19 have been outpacing the availability of the vaccine in the Texarkana area.

However, Texas took a step toward resolving that issue Monday by designating Christus St. Michael Health System in Texarkana as a regional COVID-19 vaccination hub.

That designation means the state’s goal is to be able to provide Christus St. Michael with an ongoing supply of COVID-19 vaccine, said Dr. Loren Robinson, the health system’s chief medical officer.

Until now, most of the vaccinations have gone to front-line workers and people with special needs. Monday’s announcement changes that.

“With the specific goal of vaccinating the community, specifically those people who are in Phase 1-B, anyone over the age of 65, I believe actually, and anyone under the age 65 with certain underlying health conditions,” Robinson explained.

Christus St. Michael has been allocated 2,000 doses for this first round and expects more to come as needed.

“A lot of people are calling; the phone line, it is very busy,” Robinson said.

James Bowden went by the hospital Monday afternoon to sign up for a vaccination but was told that appointments only are being made by telephone or online.

“I’m calling to have an appointment to get one of those shots done,” the Bowie County, Texas, resident said.

“I’ve been on hold as long as I’ve been here. It has been quite a while.”

Christus St. Michael leaders said that all appointments are full for this first round of vaccine and that now it is a waiting game with the state if and when more doses are made available.

“We plan to do those vaccines by appointment only on the weekends to make sure that working folks can make sure they can have time to get here,” Robinson explained.

Robinson also said that the vaccine is open to anyone who qualifies, regardless of what state they live in, and that they are ready for the challenge.

TO GET VACCINATED

When the next round of vaccine is made a available, you can sign up for an appointment by clicking here or by calling (877) 335-5746.

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