BRYAN, TX — On March 10, Texas health officials announced residents 50 and older will be able to receive the vaccine starting Monday, March 15.
This announcement comes a week after teachers and child care workers were added into Phase 1B for vaccine eligibility.
“Every dose we’ve received, we’ve administered. We’ve had no difficulty with that whatsoever,” said Chief Jim Stewart with the Brazos County COVID-19 Vaccination Task Force.
According to the Department of State Health Services, between 10 to 13 million people were already eligible in Texas. Nearly 7 million doses have been administered across the state, with more than 4.5 million people receiving at least one dose.
While the state and country are having trouble keeping up with the demand for vaccines, the Brazos County Hub has seen their demand beginning to dissipate from those eligible in Phase 1B. Chief Stewart says, adding more individuals is coming at the perfect time.
“We were even contemplating opening it up ourselves, although, that’s a bit of a cardinal sin to do that without getting permission, I rather ask for forgiveness because I don’t want the potential that we have, let's say, 5,000 doses and only 4,000 people show up, I most certainly don't want that. So, we were keen on getting the teachers on board and we are keen now on getting the 50+ on board,” said Stewart.
Over the last 6 weeks, the Brazos County Vaccine Hub has been the focus for vaccine distribution, with more and different types of vaccines becoming available, the ability for individuals to vaccine shop may soon become a reality.
“I guess, one of the challenges for us right now, is, if you have a preference for a single shot or two injections, which would you opt for? So, that might cause people to hold off on coming to us, hoping, to find a Johnson & Johnson vaccine somewhere in their neighborhood,” said Stewart.
With about 8.5% of the state’s population being fully vaccinated, Bazos County resident, James Alfieri, is excited to see more and more people receiving their vaccine.
“It’s crucial to get as many people vaccinated as possible,” said Alfieri.
The Brazos County Vaccine Hub will be receiving 5,000-first doses and 3,000-second doses of Moderna for the week of March 15th.
In moving away from the 2-1-1 system to schedule an appointment, Monday, the hub launched a new website to help residents register for their vaccine.
“The website has just been a tremendous resource for us. You know before, people were calling CHI St. Joesph’s, they were calling the Health District, they were calling us, they were calling me personally because they’ve got my phone number. Having the website has just been absolutely wonderful,” said Stewart.
New appointments will become available at 10 A.M. on Fridays.
Those who are eligible and do not have access to a computer can reach out to the call center to book an appointment, calling them at 979-703-1545. The call center is open from 9 A.M. to 3:30 P.M., Monday through Friday.
The Brazos County Vaccine Hub is also asking individuals who are unable to make their appointments, to please contact the call center to request a cancellation and reschedule; this will allow others to fill said spot.