NET Health changing COVID-19 vaccine distribution methods as surplus builds
State continues to supply thousands of doses each week
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - With demand for the COVID-19 vaccine falling and supply being greater than ever, East Texas vaccine providers are finding new ways to get shots into arms.
“There are ample vaccine providers getting doses now,” said Terrence Ates, Public Information Officer for the Northeast Texas Public Health District.
And while demand has significantly decreased since NET Health’s first vaccine clinics in late December, they’re still receiving plenty of doses from the state each week.
“That is why we’re doing the clinics in other cities and counties,” Ates said. “We’re not centralizing everything here at Harvey Hall. The surplus we’re receiving we’re utilizing in other cities and counties.”
“Really all of the low-hanging fruit has been picked,” said Russell Hopkins with NET Health. “The people who came to us in droves has trickled down to nothing. And it’s gotten more complicated in that we have people with serious inability to get to us, so we need to it to them from here on out.”
Hopkins said with demand falling and supply soaring, DSHS has eased up on how strict they are with wasted doses.
“Because we may need to send a vial out to one patient at a home, and we may not get back in time to salvage the other four doses in the vial,” Hopkins said.
Looking ahead to the coming weeks and months, providers like NET Health are preparing to vaccine more young people, especially as vaccines are authorized for use in minors.
“We may have to pick this back up in the fall if more young kids are cleared for a vaccine,” Hopkins said.
Copyright 2021 KLTV. All rights reserved.