Brownwood responds to Early City Council's lack of action

Special to the Bulletin
City of Brownwood

The City of Brownwood and Brownwood/Brown County Health Department responded to the Early City Council's lack of action on contributing funds to COVID-19 vaccination expenses.

The response was issued via email from City Manager Emily Crawford's office.

"The City of Brownwood remains committed to ending the pandemic, and we will do what we must for our residents and our community," said Mayor Stephen Haynes.

"As long as there is a public demand for vaccines, we will respond," said Lisa Dick, Health Department Administrator.

Over the past week, the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) expanded vaccine availability to two new groups of people, educators and individuals age 50-64 (called 1C).

"There are still thousands of residents in our county who want the vaccine, but have been unable to get it due to limited supplies and long waiting lists," Dick said.

"Our predicament is that vaccination efforts have outpaced funding," Brownwood City Manager Emily Crawford said.

Grants and federal funds for distributing COVID vaccines are currently limited. By continuing to provide vaccines, the City of Brownwood was going to be operating beyond existing budget and grant funds.

On Feb. 23, the Brownwood City Council approved $79,000 to the Health Department to continue vaccination efforts and requested other governmental entities commit funding on a per capita basis. On March 1, the Brown County Commissioner's Court approved $51,000 to the Health Department.

The Brownwood/Brown County Health Department has vaccinated more than 3,100 area residents through partnerships with Hendrick, Ranger College, Howard Payne University and volunteers. Next week, they are poised to distribute 2,800 vaccines.