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Lilly gives update on White House vaccine summit

Steve Nash / Brownwood Bulletin
Brown County Judge Paul Lilly prepares to leave the commissioners courtroom Friday morning after addressing the media about the COVID vaccine summit at the White House.

Brown County Judge Paul Lilly posted and video and addressed the media Friday on what he learned about the COVID vaccine while attending the Operation Warp Speed Summit Tuesday at the White House.

Lilly said he learned Brown County will receive dozes of the Pfizer vaccine within 72 hours of the vaccine receiving emergency use authorization from the FDA.

It will take another 72 hours to have the vaccine distributed to health care providers as well as the CVS and Walgreens pharmacies in Brown County, Lilly said.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced earlier the vaccines should be arriving the week of Dec. 14 and would be distributed to qualifying providers. Health care workers are the first in line to receive the medication, which needs to be given in two shots.

Also first in line are residents of long-term living care centers, the Texas Department of Health Services announced.

Lilly said health experts talked at the summit about the research that has gone into developing vaccines.

“I want to state unequivocally that nobody in Brown County, absolutely no one — as far as I know, no one anywhere — is going to be required to take the vaccine, period,” Lilly said.

“It’s entirely personal choice between you and your health care provider. It is true, for those that have concerns about the vaccine, that normally a vaccine takes eight to 10 years to research, develop and hit the market for distribution. However in this case, as President Trump said, we’re in the middle of a national pandemic, something we haven’t seen since polio, measles and small box.”

The doctors and researches who worked to develop the vaccine believe “there will be no different longterm effects, than, say, the flu vaccine,” Lilly said. “That’s what they anticipate.”

Lilly said President Donald Trump “enlisted the two largest pharmaceutical distributors and that is Walgreens and CVS. We have two CVS’s here in Brown County and one Walgreens. "In addition to health care providers, they will be providing inoculations for those who choose to take the vaccine," Lilly sai

“The vaccine will cost no one anything. It is absolutely free. It has been paid for by public money. So the vaccine itself you will not be charged for. Your private health care provider can charge you an office visit, or what they call an administrative fee to provide you with the vaccine. I’m issuing a heartfelt plea to our health care providers in Brown County, help us get as many people inoculated who desire as soon as humanly possible and worry about the administrative fee later.”

Lilly said nearly 50,000 people have taken trial doses of the vaccine. “There have been very few serious reactions to the vaccine,” Lilly said. “Most people have reported soreness, just like getting a flu shot, a little soreness in the arm, a little redness, but an overwhelming number, didn’t report any other side effects other than that.

“Now those who suffer from severe allergies, you need to contact your health care provider specifically and you all make an educated decision as to whether or not you should take the vaccine.” 

Lilly said FedEx will ship to vaccine to the western half of the country and UPS will ship to the eastern half. Lilly said he understands Brown County will receive the vaccine through FedEx shipments.

“Overwhelming it should give the vast majority of us immunity,” Lilly said of the vaccine. “I’ve been asked whether I personally am taking it. I promise you after sitting through two hours of research, and speaking to some of the doctors who were involved in the trials, I have made a decision that I will be taking the COVID-19 vaccine. Again, whether or not you take it, is entirely up to you.”