BRYAN, TEXAS — It's safe to say the winter storm that blanketed Texas last week put COVID-19 vaccination efforts on a standstill for many communities.
The last time residents walked through the doors at the Brazos Center and got vaccinated was February 9th.
Between now and then, there have been a few setbacks including the hub receiving a smaller number of doses than what they hoped for a couple of weeks ago.
Then, the winter storm forced them to reschedule appointments, but Chief Jim Stewart, who is leading the vaccination efforts, says they are back on track starting Monday.
On Friday, February 19th the hub planned on delivering around 3,000 vaccines, but the weather made them reschedule.
Now, starting Monday at 8 am, the Brazos Center will start vaccinating again.
"(The state) Of course... we reached out to them early on and said 'We are not be able to administer the 3,000 this week, but don't hold it against us' and they didn't...they have allocated another 4,000 doses," Chief Jim Stewart, leading the COVID-19 vaccination efforts in Brazos County said.
This coming week Chief Stewart says their mission is to put 7,000 doses in arms, which is the most they have done in a week's time.
"Starting tomorrow it will be 10 hour days for 4 days, so we will have actually 40 hours of vaccinating next week," Chief Stewart added.
After Bryan College Station suffered massive power outages last week, Chief Stewart says that did not affect their vaccines on hand nor did any expire during this rescheduling time.
"St. Joseph has the refrigeration capability, just think about hospital and the pharmaceutical department of the hospital, it's very sophisticated, they have everything they need there to keep the doses safe. That is not a concern for us," Chief Stewart added.
Gradually working their way through the 1a/1b population, Chief Stewart says the are looking towards the future and how they may need to accommodate the remainder of residents.
"Should we dedicate some days at the Brazos Center for first doses? Should we dedicate part of the week for 2nd doses? Should we set up another vaccination site? These are all the things we have been talking about for weeks now and this coming week while I am there we want to bring that to closure so we have a plan in place," Chief Stewart added.
Chief Stewart added that the 2nd doses of the COVID-19 vaccine that were scheduled starting Monday are now not going to be available until March 1st, which included 1,130 second doses.
According to data from Texas Health and Human Services, in Brazos County, almost 17,500 people have been vaccinated with at least one dose and 7,000 are fully vaccinated. In Texas, 3 million people have been vaccinated with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 1.3 million are fully vaccinated.
Chief Stewart says their new call center goes live Monday at 10.
Residents including those who do not have internet or an email address can call 2-1-1 where they will be redirected to the center's call center where manual appointments can be made.