BRYAN, TX — The Brazos Valley Vaccination Hub is a month into vaccinating at the Brazos Center. This week, the hub is set to administer 10,000 vaccine doses, marking the most doses administered thus far. Those shots are split evenly in half between the first doses, and the second ones.
“So, Monday through Wednesday morning, we will be administering 5,000 first doses and then we will take a breather Wednesday, at the lunch hour, but then Wednesday afternoon we will pick up with the second doses and we will do them Wednesday afternoon, Thursday and Friday,” said Chief Jim Stewart.
Following the winter storm, the Vaccine hub was able to vaccinate just over 7,000 individuals last week alone. Brazos County COVID-19 Vaccination Task Force Chief, Jim Stewart, says, as they begin to administer second doses, a drive-thru will be set up in the Brazos Center parking lot for those receiving the second dose.
“So, if you are the first dose you will still come into the Brazos Center,” said Stewart. “If you are a second dose, you’ll make a right turn, instead of a left turn, as you come into the parking lot and then you will drive through tents that we are going to set up, the vaccine will be administered. You’ll go into an observation area and then on out from there.”
The Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine received emergency use authorization from the FDA on Saturday. Currently, the Brazos Valley Vaccination Hub administers the Moderna vaccine. Chief Stewart says, while there is no word on whether the Vaccination Hub could potentially receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, a one-shot vaccine option would speed up getting more shots into people's arms who want it.
“We administered 7,000 doses last week, well a month from now, those same 7,000 people are going to come through again, plus an additional five, or six, or seven thousand people, are going to come through, so that’s a pretty big number. If we could get a vaccine that’s good for one dose, with the efficiency of the Moderna or Pfizer achieve with their two doses, that would be marvelous and would make our job much, much easier,” said Stewart.
Brazos County Alternate Health Authority, Dr. Seth Sullivan, says, he expects approved vaccine providers in Brazos County to be recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. However, Dr. Sullivan does not know if the Vaccination hub will be one of them.
“It’s welcomed news, it’s one more tool that we need and I really hope it can get that supply going. That’s been our rate limiter, that’s been the thing that has slowed us down, is just having a vaccine,” said Dr. Sullivan.
In terms of who should receive the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, versus the two-shot vaccine options, Moderna and Pfizer, Dr. Sullivan urges anyone eligible to receive the vaccine in Phase 1B to get whichever vaccine they can.
“I really think it’s getting folks vaccinated. There are some advantages of just having one vaccine, it’s certainly shown effective,” said Dr. Sullivan.
All 5,000 of the second doses for this week have been claimed, but there are still first-dose appointments available, Chief Stewart encourages everyone to check their email in order to officially confirm their appointments.
Since giving out those first shots on January 28, roughly 13,500 doses have been administered at the Brazos Center hub.
Stewart applauds the Brazos County community for stepping up and making the vaccination hub the most successful volunteer ran vaccine hub in the state of Texas.
“One of the things I am concerned about is, we are not going to be done in a month or so. We’re probably doing this until October, November. So to sustain that volunteering enthusiasm and keep those folks coming out is the key piece of what my job is,” said Stewart.
Stewart says the vaccine hub sees 180 volunteers throughout the day.
Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer at the hub through the American Red Cross may register, by clicking right here!