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Bell Co. Public Health partnering up with hospitals to address 2nd dose appointment issues

Posted at 5:35 PM, Apr 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-05 18:35:33-04

The clock is ticking for some Bell County residents who have not received their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Some people who have received their 1st dose of the vaccine through the Bell County Public Health District told 25 News they're having trouble scheduling their second dose appointment.

It’s an issue the county is working to address.

“I have spoken to a few people who have had this problem we are definitely aware of it at the county level. Regardless of how this has happened our priority is to figure out how best to serve the people who are having trouble getting that second appointment right now,” said James Stafford, Bell County’s Public Information Officer.

Stafford said they opened more than 2,000 appointments for people to schedule their second dose appointment.

The county even opened more appointments over the last few weeks which he says was more than enough appointments for the people they had vaccinated at the Public Health District.

“It’s possible that some people have opted to get their second dose further than three weeks away and that is creating some shortage there. It’s also possible that some people are signing up for their second dose multiple times," Stafford said.

Stafford reveals that there have been several no shows at the vaccination clinics too, which does nothing but add to the problem.

When someone books more than one appointment and forgets to cancel the extras, it holds a spot for someone else who is waiting to receive their vaccine.

The ever-changing rules and regulations surrounding vaccine distribution and allocation have also played a part in vaccination efforts.

Not to mention the delay in vaccinations caused by the winter storm.

Stafford says the county is now partnering up with local hospitals like AdventHealth to ensure people have more options.

“Whether first dose or second dose and it doesn’t matter where you come from if you sign up and say hey, I want AdventHealth to give me a shot then you’re going to get a shot you’re going to get vaccinated. We would like to take care of everybody but we also know our limitation so while we are able to provide the service it’s not a priority to vaccinate anybody that we can,” said Thomas Wilhite, Director of Employee Education and Clinical Informatics at AdventHealth.

To schedule your vaccine appointment, you can call (877)874-8747.

The county is also partnering up with Baylor Scott and White as well as Seaton Medical, both located within Bell County. If for any reason you have any issues getting an appointment with the providers above there are other options.

“The Texas Department of Health has their vaccine hub information, the CDC also has their vaccine hub information up,” said Amy Mersiovsky, Director and Chair of the Department of Nursing at A&M Central Texas.

The CDC does recommend that you go to the same place where you received your first dose.

However, the Bell County Emergency Management System has given the green light to go elsewhere for your second dose as long as you stick with the same type of vaccine, meaning if your first dose was Pfizer your second dose should be Pfizer and same for Moderna.