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Brazos County vaccine providers offer updates on COVID-19 doses

There have been conflicting numbers of how many vaccines have been administered and distributed
(Jacquelyn Martin | AP)
Published: Jan. 5, 2021 at 7:06 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - As the state rolls out its fourth week of COVID-19 vaccine shipments, there’s not a clear picture of how those vaccines are currently being utilized across the Brazos Valley.

According to a COVID-19 vaccine distribution presentation at the Brazos County’s Commissioners Court meeting on Tuesday, there are around 4,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine currently allocated to Brazos County, but unutilized and awaiting vaccinations due to backlog or staffing issues. Emergency managers said about 7,075 doses have been distributed to the county, but only about 3,000 of them have been administered.

The Texas Department of State Health Services has also launched a COVID-19 vaccine dashboard that it says is updated daily. According to the dashboard, only 1,464 doses have been administered in Brazos County, which local medical providers say is far behind our current situation.

With these conflicting numbers, KBTX reached out to all approved Brazos County COVID-19 vaccine providers who have been allocated vaccines to ask how the rollout is going.

Baylor Scott & White- College Station was the first provider in the Brazos Valley to receive shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine. According to the Texas Vaccine Allocation Plan, BSW has been allocated a total of 1,175 doses. The hospital declined to offer details specific to Brazos County vaccinations, saying the Scott & White Health System was approaching the vaccination effort based on their entire system across Texas. The hospital is still required to report vaccination data to state health officials.

We are continuing to immunize our healthcare workers, as the health of our team members is critical to our ability to continue delivering safe care in the communities we serve. In most cases, we are distributing the doses we receive within hours of securing the shipment.

Baylor Scott & White - College Station statement

The hospital did confirm that on Monday they began the second round of doses for employees.

St. Joseph Health has been allocated a total of 4,100 doses throughout their Brazos County facilities, but they emphasized not all allocated doses have arrived. St. Joseph Health was included in Week 2 of the vaccine allocation program, but received their vaccines on Christmas Eve. Officials say they have only been able to give out around half. They will receive their second doses in about two weeks.

Both local hospital systems told KBTX on Tuesday that they planned to begin Phase 1B this month and potentially as early as next week.

Shane Lechler, manager of the Tower Point H-E-B Pharmacy, said that all five of the H-E-B pharmacies received 100 vaccines two weeks ago and all the vaccines were administered within seven days.

Some local clinics have been allocated vaccines, but have not received any because they are unable to sufficiently store them.

Bryan Family Medicine Clinic was allocated 100 doses for Week 4 of the allocation program but said they have not received any because they do not have the capacity to store the vaccines at the sub-zero temperatures required.

Legacy Nursing and Rehabilitation in Bryan said they have received all 100 of their allocated doses. Out of their 75 live-in residents and about 100 employees Senior Vice President Myles Holyfield says that over half of the residents and nearly half of their employees have received their first dose.

Holyfield says there’s about 70 more people to vaccinate in Phase 1A and that they should be starting second doses in about a month. Those doses will come in a second shipment that Legacy has yet to receive.

Emergency managers have also pointed to bottlenecks at the state level and in the logistics of distributing vaccines as the sources of the problem. In his presentation to commissioners court, Texas Division of Emergency Management district coordinator Ponch Gonzalez said the paperwork and monitoring necessary for a vaccination make individual appointments take around 30 minutes, and Brazos County’s swelling hospital numbers have made reallocating enough resources challenging for some providers. Hospital officials also cited the Christmas and New Year holidays as a stumbling block in vaccinating those included in Phase 1A.

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