BRYAN, Texas — As the number of coronavirus cases and hospital bed occupancy rates continue to rise in Brazos County, local leaders addressed what is next in vaccine rollouts. Once again, they are urging people to do their part to slow the spread of the virus.
“All of our hospitals are busy right now," said Dr. Seth Sullivan, the alternate health authority for the Brazos County Health District. "If it is something that can be taken care of in an urgent care setting or a primary care setting then that would be appropriate and wise.”
As the number of COVID-19 cases increases, there is also more progress being made to vaccinate the county.
The state has now phased into vaccinating those in group 1A and 1B; which are individuals 65 and older, individuals with a chronic medical condition and pregnant individuals.
"For group 1C, this area has not yet been defined," Sullivan said.
CHI St. Joseph Health has been selected as a vaccination hub by the DSHS. The weekly number of those vaccine allocations is currently unknown. As part of the hub, St. Joseph has received an additional 1,200 doses of the vaccine. According to Sullivan, the hospital plans on using it all by the end of the week for those who qualify in group 1B.
"We’re just going to have to be patient with this," Sullivan said. "It’s going to go well eventually. Right now there’s going to be some hiccups.”
Brazos County is planning on opening a vaccination site at the Brazos Center Monday.
“We’ve identified a location, we’ve identified staffing, we have an overhead team in place and we’re hopeful that we can do a dry run as early as next Monday," said Jim Stewart, former Brazos County chief deputy and who is also spearheading the COVID-19 vaccination plan for the county.
With permission from Brazos County Judge Duane Peters, the Brazos Center will be the vaccination site Monday through Friday, for the next three months.
The Brazos Center staff is in no way involved with the administration of COVID-19 vaccines and is cannot answer questions.
Those who meet the qualifying criteria can get information about vaccinations through the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), CHI St. Joseph Health, Baylor Scott & White Health or HEB.
People may not show up to a vaccination site without an appointment.
"Monday will start processing folks through there using the medical resources of St. Joseph’s, the overhead resources of TEEX and our local responders," Stewart said.
According to data provided by the DSHS, 2,575 vaccines have been administered in Brazos County as of Tuesday. 291 people have received both doses of the vaccine.