Locals must wait until COVID-19 vaccines more widely available
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Locals in the Copperas Cove and Coryell County area who want to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, will have to continue to wait a bit longer, even if they are within the “Phase 1b” of the vaccine rollout.
Every week, the Texas Department of State Health Services has released the statewide list, by county, of where it is shipping the vaccines.
The week of Jan. 4 marked week four of distribution by Texas DSHS. And, this week, the only entity receiving vaccinations in Coryell County is the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, which received a total of 400 doses, divided among four of its prison units located in the county.
Just how long locals have to wait will also depend on where they fall in the phased vaccination plan. First responders and frontline healthcare workers will receive the vaccination first.
Texas DSHS also announced that both CVS and Walgreens have partnered with them to vaccinate residents at long-term healthcare facilities such as nursing homes and assisted living center.
After four weeks, only 700 doses have been distributed to healthcare providers and pharmacies in Coryell County. These are part of the phase 1 distribution, for healthcare workers and first responders. Altogether during week two, 300 doses were sent to Coryell Memorial Health Clnic,100 doses apiece to the H-E-B pharmacies in Gatesville and Copperas Cove. In week three, Coryell Memorial Health Clinic received 200 additional doses.
Here are a some of the local healthcare providers which locals may have access to for the vaccine, when it becomes more readily available:
AdventHealth Central Texas
AdventHealth Central Texas in Killeen received 1,400 doses of the vaccine during week two of distribution. However, AdventHealth’s website states that the vaccine is designated for its medical providers and team members working in areas with the most exposure risk.
“Because of the limited supply and due to state guidelines, the general public cannot receive a vaccine today. AdventHealth does not have vaccines at its hospitals, physician practices or Centra Care facilities that are for the public at this time.” This includes area clinics and facilities which provide outpatient services.
Baylor Scott & White
Baylor Scott & White has announced its plans for general distribution of the vaccine.
“While Baylor Scott & White will be providing COVID-19 vaccination to patients and members of the community, we are currently working on vaccinating our healthcare workers, those frontline colleagues who have been fighting on the frontlines of the pandemic for more than 10 months. The health of our team members is critical to our ability to continue delivering safe care in the communities we serve.
“Immediately after our healthcare workers are vaccinated, we will begin immunizing patients and community members in phase 1b—those 65 and older and over 16 with certain medical conditions; however, the timing will be dependent on vaccine supply.”
Those who would like to be notified of Baylor Scott & White’s vaccine availability can sign up at: https://www.bswhealth.com/covid-vaccine#vaccine-form.
Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center
CDAMC began administering the Pfizer vaccine on Dec. 15 to its first responders and medical personnel. The facility did administer to high-risk beneficiaries starting Dec. 21, but the supply was depleted. The facility said it expected to receive more after the new year, but has not provided an update on availability.
While local H-E-B pharmacies in Copperas Cove, Killeen, and Harker Heights have received doses for distribution, supplies are limited and the store will be following the phased approach as announced by Texas DSHS.
“H-E-B will follow the distribution schedule set by the government, and any updates will be communicated with customers via our Pharmacy page on heb.com and H-E-B Newsroom. During this first phase (1A) of Covid-19 vaccine rollout, some H-E-B pharmacies have received the Moderna vaccine to help vaccinate our community healthcare providers. Many of our H-E-B Pharmacy locations are still working through waitlists for healthcare providers in Phase 1A. We will continue to move into vaccinating people in Phase 1B when we receive more allocation of Covid-19 vaccine from the state of Texas. Once the need is met within Phase 1A, vaccinations will be given to those who fall into Phase 1B. An appointment must be scheduled to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. Our pharmacies will not accept walk-ins.”
The Veterans Administration, likewise, is in the process of distributing vaccines at facilities, including the VA medical center in Temple. Right now, the VA is offering vaccines to veterans living in its long-term care facilities and its healthcare personnel.
“After these first two groups, we’ll begin to offer vaccines to more veterans who are at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19,” reads a statement on the Veterans Administration website.
“If you’re eligible to get a vaccine, your VA health care team will contact you. You don’t need to reserve a vaccine, or come to a VA facility to request or receive a vaccine until we contact you. Our staff will only provide vaccines to Veterans who are currently eligible for one based on VA and CDC risk criteria.”
Presently, both CVS and Walgreens have partnered with the state of Texas to distribute the vaccine to long-term care facilities, but the vaccine is not available to the general public at its stores just yet.
“We began our national rollout to long-term care facilities on 12/21 in 12 states, and expanded to an additional 36 states and Washington, D.C. this week,” said Joe Goode, Senior Director, Corporate Communications for CVS. “This rollout includes more than 2000 skilled nursing and assisted living facilities across the state of Texas.
“Beyond long-term care facilities, we also have an agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services to eventually provide vaccines to the general population in our 10,000 CVS Pharmacy locations across the country. Timing remains a variable and is purely speculative, but it could be in the first quarter.”
Likewise, Walgreens has announced its phased approach that it will follow according to state guidelines, and it anticipates to have a vaccine available to the general population at its stores in Spring 2021.