Health department making plan to distribute vaccine

Steve Nash / Brownwood Bulletin
covid graphic

The Brownwood/Brown County Health Department is working on a plan for distributing doses of the COVID vaccine when they arrive in Brown County, health administrator Lisa Dick told commissioners court members Monday.

“This is the 13th day, or over the 13th day of being over the 15 percent occupancy for the hospital,” Dick said. “We’re hoping for vaccine to be sooner than later. Right now we don’t have a clear date on distribution of immunizations, and I know the state will be keeping us up to date on that.

“We’ve already been working on a plan of how those  would go out, which includes several different avenues of eventually from physician offices, pharmacies, hospitals and the health department, which will be a combined effort. “

Three additional deaths were reported Monday, bringing the total number of COVID deaths in Brown County to 51.

There were 362 active cases and 15 hospitalized in Brownwood as of Monday.

Brown County Judge Paul Lilly said he had learned the county may receive the Moderna vaccine rather than Pfizer, as originally indicted.  “We’ll take whatever week can get,” Lilly said.

The vaccine requires two shots, 21-28 days apart, commissioners were told.

“The first shot gives you 80 to 85 percent immunity and the second shot bumps you up to 95,” Lilly said.

He said the U.S. surgeon general has said people should continue to wear masks after taking the vaccine because “even though you have an 80 to 85 percent immunity from it, you could still be a carrier and give it to someone else,” Lilly said.

  Dick said, “there will be a time that you’re building that immunity. The last thing we want to do is make people feel safe when they’re not.”      

Dick was asked if taking the vaccine will be mandatory.

“Most vaccines we have now are not mandatory, but some of the things we want to do in our life make it mandatory, or it seems that way — certain professions or going to school,” Dick said.

“That’s he reason why we think of those as being mandatory.” 

Lilly said the assisted living and retirement communities in the county “have signed up for the vaccine.”

Dick said community members should “continue to do those measures that protect us. It really lasts as long as this pandemic lasts. So it’s a person to person to person to person contact.”