Brown County vaccinations not matching pace with state

Steve Nash
Brownwood Bulletin
COVID vaccine

"Short answer: as many as possible."

That was Brownwood/Brown County Health Administrator Lisa Dick's response when asked how many Brown County residents the health department hopes will take the COVID vaccine.

"We would certainly like to see (Brown County) increase to the state percentage," she said via text message Monday afternoon. Dick said Brown County vaccinations are at:

• At least one dose — 41 percent 

• Fully vaccinated — 34.8 percent.

She said Texas overall is at:

• At least one dose — 65.5 percent.

* Fully vaccinated — 54.5 percent.

Earlier Monday, Dick updated Brown County Commissioners Court members on COVID numbers including vaccinations. Proportionally, fewer Brown County residents have been fully vaccinated against COVID than residents in surrounding counties and in Texas overall, she told commissioners.

Last week, 466 Brown County residents received the first vaccination dose, and 122 received the second dose, she said.

Brown County's vaccination percentage "is not enough to provide a community-type immunity," Dick said. "We would look at it as more of a preventative measure. Doing it at 400 or 500 a week is not going to get us there very quickly.

"Many of our other counties that surround us are doing a little bit better. Comanche is above the 50 percent mark and others surrounding us look pretty similar. But when you look at the state overall, their numbers are significantly higher than we are on vaccines. I think that just puts us at a little bit more risk."

The health department continues to provide vaccinations daily at the health department and will be putting on additional vaccination clinics, Dick said. She said the health  department is requesting $15,000 from the county to be used for staffing and a small amount of supplies for the clinics. Brown County Judge Paul Lilly asked for the funding request to be placed on next week's commissioners court agenda.

Dick said the health department will also request funds from the City of Brownwood.

Last week, Brown County had 169 new COVID cases. Twenty-three of the new cases had been fully vaccinated, and two were hospitalized, Dick said. As of Monday morning, a total of 13 COVID cases were hospitalized in Brownwood as of Monday morning, she said.

Referring to the those who test positive after being fully vaccinated, Dick said, "what we are generally seeing is that those cases are a lot lighter or if they do have pre-existing conditions and their case has a probability of being worse, it's not as bad as it could have been, but certainly there are exceptions to that."