Drive-through COVID vaccination clinic set for Wednesday

Steve Nash
Brownwood Bulletin
COVID vaccine

Six hundred doses of the COVID vaccine will be given Wednesday at a drive-through clinic at Gordon Wood Stadium, Brownwood/Brown County Health Administrator Lisa Dick told Brown County Commissioners Court members Monday.

The clinic will focus on vaccinating remaining qualifying health-care workers in the "1A Phase," as well as individuals over the age of 65 with specific pre-existing conditions as outline by the Texas Department of Health Services, a press release from the City of Brownwood states.

Dick said the health department was notified by state health officials Friday the county will be receiving 600 doses through Hendrick Medical Center Brownwood. The hospital and health department will team up to operate the vaccination clinic, Dick said.

People who have signed up on the health department’s contact list will be notified via email to make appointments until all of the available slots are taken, Dick said. Anyone without an appointment should not show up, she said. The list contains nearly 4,000 names.

“We’ll be taking the people who signed up on the Brownwood/Brown County Health Department list, and we’ll be sending out information to those that meet the qualifications down to the 600-sh people,” Dick said. “It will be an email so people need to watch their emails.

“If you don’t have an appointment, it’s not your turn to get a vaccine yet. We’re trying to do this in the fairest, most organized way that we can."

A few who signed up on the list don’t have emails and will be contacted directly, Dick said.

“The hospital has also agreed that we will work off of the same list so we will be referring to the Brownwood-Brown County list,” she said. “We will be offering that same opportunity to other providers that may be receiving vaccine. They are welcome to work off of our list. It makes things more organized and simple if we only have one list versus people having to go to multiple sites to sign up. So that’s open for any of those providers that want to do that. They can contact me.”

Dick said the allocation of 600 vaccines to the county shows “we are making a little bit of progress and that’s really great. So I’m very thankful that we’re going to be administering those 600 doses this week. I will continue to ask for more and more vaccine.

“ … I immediately felt at least some relief, knowing that we’re making progress. Before it just kind of felt like we were at a standstill.” 

Dick said she thinks if state officials see a vaccination clinic that is operated “quickly and in an organized manner” in Brown County, it will be helpful in obtaining future allocations.

She said the the vaccinations will be administered by health department and hospital staff, as well as staff and students from Ranger College and Howard Payne University. The clinic will be operated from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with appointments scheduled in five-minute increments, she said.

Dick said a vaccine clinic was recently held for 100 people in that category, and they will be receiving the second dose of the two-dose vaccine Thursday.

Brown County had 387 active COVID cases as of Monday morning, Dick told commissioners.

“Last week there were 184 new cases in our county and that’s a little bit down from before, but we’re not doing as well as we were at the beginning of November,” Dick said. 

She said the county has asked to be designated by the state as a vaccine hub.

“Right now the state says that they are not adding any additional hubs,” Dick said. “The group that instated the hubs is very aware that we want to to be a hub, and they will have us in consideration. So it may not be the answer that we want but I think it’s an answer in the right direction. I don’t care if we are a hub as long as we are receiving vaccines.”

Brown County Judge Paul Lilly said state and federal officials have said we’re at the top of the list to become a hub when the state adds another.

Dick added, “I think successfully completing Wednesday’s drive-through vaccination clinic will help contribute” to the county at some point being named a hub. “This will be a showing that we can do it.” Dick said.

She said most of the nursing facilities in Brown County have received “the first if not their second doses” of the vaccine.

“There are a couple of them, assisted living facilities, that have not received doses,” Dick said. “What I think is, something happened with the contracting that occurred with pharmaceutical companies. The state has asked the health department to make sure that we connect them with someone else to provide those vaccines or if that is not possible, then the health department will make sure that they get vaccines.”

It would also be an option for staff at the facilities to do the vaccinations, Dick said. 

Lilly said it had been hoped the FDA would give emergency use authorization for a vaccine from Johnson and Johnson this past Friday, but that didn’t happen. It is hoped for the emergency use authorization to be given this Friday, Lilly said.

Johnson and Johnson would be a one-dose vaccine, while the other two vaccines — from Pfizer and Moderna — require two doses.