Former Brazos County Chief Deputy to spearhead local COVID-19 vaccination administration plan

Retired Army Colonel Jim Stewart will lead the plan
Published: Jan. 8, 2021 at 6:01 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 8, 2021 at 6:23 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - In an effort to efficiently distribute COVID-19 vaccines, Brazos County, the City of College Station, the City of Bryan, Texas A&M University, and local medical providers are working to create a cohesive and efficient vaccination plan.

Local emergency managers say retired Army Colonel Jim Stewart will lead the initiative, working with the Brazos County Health District, local emergency management, and vaccine providers. He’s already been working with the Health District, emergency management coordinators (EMCs), and elected officials on the county’s COVID-19 response since the start of the pandemic.

“I have Zoomed with multiple folks within Brazos County, to include TEEX, to include the Health Science Center, to include St. Joseph Hospital, Baylor Scott and White, all the EMCs that are stationed in the CEOC (Community Emergency Operations Center). We’ve been gaming and planning the vaccination effort for Brazos County,” said Stewart during an interview with News 3′s Karla Castillo Friday night. “What we’re hoping to do is kind of bring together a cohesive community-focused vaccination program, particularly as more vaccinations become available to our community.”

Stewart said they’re working on finding the people, the place and the best processes to develop a successful plan.

“We’ve got the people that put the needle in your arm. We have the people that keep track that you’re there, and we also have to have porta potties. We also have to have coverage. We also have to have traffic control, all those sorts of things we’ve got to put together before. The last thing we want to do is create something that’s a disaster. COVID-19 is already a disaster, so when the two cities and the county say, ‘okay, we’re ready to roll with this program,’ it’s gotta be done right,” said Stewart.

Stewart retired from his role as Chief Deputy at the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office in December. He previously spent 20 years as a reserve police officer in the City of Bryan and more than three decades as a Colonel in the U.S. Army.

“Since you guys ran the story, my phone has been blowing up with texts from people about, ‘we thought you retired. We thought you were gone.’ And yeah, I did retire and I was kind of gone, but Brazos County is very important to me. My eight years as a chief deputy, I really became very, very involved with the community, and it’s something I feel like I owe to my fellow constituents from Brazos County cause I still feel like I’m a Brazos County-ian at heart,” he said.

The Brazos County Health District will hold its next press conference on Wednesday, Jan. 13. Brazos County Health Authority Dr. Seth Sullivan, Brazos County Judge Duane Peters, City of Bryan Mayor Andrew Nelson, City of College Station Mayor Karl Mooney, and representatives from CHI St. Joseph and Baylor Scott & White are scheduled to be present as local COVID-19 cases reach record levels.

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