First COVID-19 vaccines arrive in Brazos Valley

975 dose of the vaccine have been delivered at Baylor Scott & White - College Station Hospital
Published: Dec. 17, 2020 at 11:58 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 17, 2020 at 9:19 PM CST
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - The Baylor Scott & White - College Station hospital received their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine today.

The hospital was named a provider of the vaccine in Phase I of the state vaccine distribution plan by Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

Baylor Scott & White - College Station is receiving 975 doses, according to the DSHS Week 1 COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation. This dosage is for the first week.

The hospital has been practicing protocols for receiving the vaccine that includes -70°C storage. You can read more about Baylor Scott & White’s vaccine protocols here.

Baylor Scott & White Regional President Jason Jennings says this is an exciting day and that they are ready to hit the ground running with getting employees vaccinated.

“The team was ready to receive that vaccine and we are excited. Tomorrow will be even more exciting. We plan to get the first of the vaccine done bright and early tomorrow morning,” said Jennings.

The group receiving the vaccines Friday is described as men and women who have been on the frontlines fighting the virus for months.

As these first vaccines arrived, St. Joseph Health in Bryan and the Brazos County Health District say they are awaiting their first shipments.

Dr. Kia Parsi, Chief Medical Officer for St. Joseph Health, says they are excited to receive their first round of vaccines soon.

“St. Joseph registered all of our hospitals and other clinical sites that will be eligible to distribute a vaccine. So we have a hospital in Bryan, College Station, Navasota, Madisonville, and Burleson County. Depending on how many vaccines we get, we’re going to try and roll it out to all of our communities,” said Dr. Parsi.

While fighting COVID-19, Dr. Parsi says access to a vaccine could be a game-changer.

“I treated patients who were positive and didn’t make it, and if they had taken the vaccine they could be alive today,” said Dr. Parsi.

Dr. Seth Sullivan, the Brazos County Alternate Health Authority, says as more vaccines roll out and they are made more available through multiple providers in the community, we will be one step closer to a new normal.

“I think the most realistic timeline I’ve seen has been the summer, and then we can all really hope that next fall will look a lot different than this fall,” said Dr. Sullivan.

Dr. Sullivan adds that until herd immunity is achieved, something he says will take some time, people will need to continue practicing necessary safety precautions.

“We are going to need to maintain all of the mask-wearing and social distancing until we really turned a corner. That corner’s really gonna be herd immunity, or once we feel that we have a critical mass that has been vaccinated or immune,” said Dr. Sullivan.

But to make that possible, more vaccines need to come to the area. Dr. Sullivan says he expects the rollout and availability of vaccines to be similar to the rollout and availability of the COVID-19 testing. The first people who need it the most, and over time, it will become more accessible. Dr. Sullivan says he is hopeful that the general public will have access to a vaccine within a few months.

Baylor Scott & White is the only health center in the Brazos Valley to be receiving COVID-19 vaccines at this time. They are also emphasizing that the vaccines the hospital received Thursday are only for Baylor Scott & White frontline workers. They are not available to the general public yet.

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