Clinic open Wednesday and Saturday for eligible group
COVID-19 vaccines are beginning to be distributed more widely by county providers, though it will quite some time before the general public will receive their first dose, CHRISTUS Mother Frances - Sulphur Springs CEO Paul Harvey said.
“We’re not at the stage to open this up to whole community yet because we’re got to follow the state in how they want us to reach certain groups before we can release it to the general public,” Harvey said.
At the start of the rollout, three Hopkins County entities were deemed providers: the hospital, CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic and Brookshire’s Pharmacy. The hospital was supposed to receive 400 doses, but none of the doses came until this week, Harvey said.
“If you think of the vaccine rollout and how it’s supposed to be distributed, in Hopkins County we are about two weeks behind everybody else,” Harvey said. “We haven’t even covered all of the 1A group, the first responders, the healthcare workers, as of today.”
The hospital is working with first responder teams in the county as well as other, smaller counties such as Delta and Rains that received little to no doses of the vaccine.
“We’ll take care of vaccinating as many of those that want to,” Harvey said.
Group 1A includes first responders, healthcare workers and patients in long-term care facilities like nursing homes. Group 1B, the next group of people designated to receive the vaccine, includes people over 65 and people 16 and over with at least one chronic medical condition such as cancer, obesity or type 2 diabetes.
Trinity Clinic, which has 200 doses, will be vaccinating the 1B group Wednesday and Saturday 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Medical Plaza building. Brookshire’s has already begun vaccinations, according to Harvey. All of the vaccines are manufactured by Moderna, and so far, 274 county residents have been vaccinated as of Sunday, according to the Department of State Health Services.
“This is not the time for any facility or entity to hoard vaccines,” Harvey said. “This is not PPE. This is a direct, impactful opportunity to start hitting this virus where it hurts and to start mitigating the spread of this.”
People in the 1B group can call the clinic at 903-885-7671 or can schedule online at christushealth.org. The shot is free, Harvey adding he does not want to make “payment an issue” for people.
The COVID-19 vaccine is given in two doses. For the Moderna vaccine, there is a 28-day gap between doses; for the Pfizer vaccine, the gap is 21 days. Harvey urged people to not cross the two vaccines and to receive the second booster dose from the same manufacturer.
“There’s some stuff going on on social media on that it might be OK to cross those [vaccines], but we are not advocating that at all,” Harvey said. “It’s better to stick with what you received when you get the second booster.”