Brazos Center vaccine hub to administer 10,000 shots as it gives out both first and second doses this week
While first-dose shots continue to be administered inside the Brazos Center for the first half of the week, a drive-thru will be set up in the back parking lot for second doses.
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - For the first time since administering its first shots as part of a trial run exactly one month ago, the vaccine hub at the Brazos Center will begin giving first and second-dose vaccinations during the same week.
The hub is set to administer 10,000 vaccine doses this week, more in a single week than it ever has before. Those shots are split evenly in half between the first and second doses. Brazos County COVID-19 Vaccination Task Force Chief Jim Stewart says they’re going to give out all 5,000 of their allocated first doses to begin the week.
“We’ll run those Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday morning,” Stewart said. “We’ll take a pause, take a breath, then Wednesday afternoon we’ll start administering the second doses. We’ll do that Wednesday afternoon, Thursday, and Friday.”
While first-dose shots continue to be administered inside the Brazos Center for the first half of the week, a drive-thru will be set up in the back parking lot for second doses. Stewart says this is to avoid confusion between people coming in for different doses. He says they hope to have it ready by Thursday afternoon or Friday to test it.
“Once we get the drive-thru established, you’ll be queried whether you’re first or second dose,” Stewart said. “If you’re the first dose, they’ll park you. If you’re the second dose, they’ll direct you around to the backside of the parking lot, you’ll flow through the tent, and then we’ll put you in the observation area for 15 minutes or so to make sure you’re okay.”
Stewart says everyone with a second dose appointment scheduled for this week will still get their second shot by Friday. They will not be affected by last week’s rescheduling as the hub hopes to give out more shots with each passing week.
“This week we’re splitting it in half, but the volume of vaccines, as you can well imagine, is going to increase,” Stewart said. “We’re going to have to do first and second doses concurrently. That was why we decided to do the drive-thru on site.”
All 5,000 of the second doses for the upcoming week have already been claimed, Stewart says, but there are still first-dose appointments available. He encourages everyone to check their email in order to officially confirm those appointments.
Stewart is also excited about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine officially receiving emergency use authorization from the FDA on Saturday. While he says the Brazos Center hub will continue to get the Moderna vaccine for the foreseeable future, he hopes to get Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine into the mix as soon as possible.
“That would cut our workload in half,” Stewart said. “When I bring you through and give you Moderna, I know I’m going to see you again in a month or so. But if I give you Johnson & Johnson, I give you a hug and a kiss, off you go, and I’ll never see you again, so it would be fantastic if we could do that. We’re going to administer whatever they give us.”
The hub was allocated 7,000 doses last week, but Stewart says they ultimately administered 7,325 with the extra doses that are found in some vials they receive. Since giving out those first shots on January 28, Stewart says roughly 13,500 doses have been administered at the Brazos Center hub.
Stewart also wants to send out a thank you to all the volunteers who give their time and effort to the hub’s operation. He says each one of them is crucial to the hub’s success, and it couldn’t function without them.
“On any given day, we have 180 volunteers that come through there - 90 in the morning and 90 in the afternoon. Some of them double up,” Stewart said. “I’m very cautious about them losing their enthusiasm because we’re in this for the long haul. They are a super bunch of folks out there.”
Stewart says anyone who is interested in becoming a volunteer at the hub needs to go through the American Red Cross.
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