The drug, known as bepridil, is used to treat a heart condition called Angina. The team’s leader, Texas A&M Department of Chemistry Professor Wenshe Liu, says it received FDA approval back in the 1990s. If bepridil eventually receives authorization to treat COVID-19, it would be only the second FDA-approved treatment for the virus along with Remdesivir.
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. Brazos County COVID-19 Vaccination Task Force Chief Jim Stewart says this is to avoid confusion between people coming in for different doses.
There have been concerns from those who have already received their first dose of the vaccine about when they can get their second one. The Brazos County vaccine hub at the Brazos Center had to push back those appointments by a week because the winter storms delayed second dose shipments.
The health district announced Wednesday that the Texas Department of State Health Services identified four cases of the COVID-19 mutation in Brazos County. The positive cases were confirmed between January 27 and February 7, according to the Alternate Health Authority of the Brazos County Health District Dr. Seth Sullivan.
Brazos County received 2,100 first doses of the vaccine this past week, an amount that seemed proportionally low to some based on the number of doses other counties received. Texas COVID-19 Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel member Dr. Gerald Parker says there will always be counties that feel like they were given fewer doses than what they believe is sufficient when they make their recommendations each week.
Dr. Gerald Parker, one of the panel’s 17 members, says there are a lot of essential workers who need to receive the vaccine, but the very limited supply of doses nationwide is keeping those groups out of the top tiers of vaccine eligibility.
Environmental Engineering Professor Dr. Shankar Chellam says he wants to be very clear that there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 has found its way into our water supply yet, nor is there an imminent threat, but this experiment is important in proving there’s a way to get rid of the virus if it ever does.
All three Walmart locations and the Sam’s Club in Brazos County are participating in this effort. The retailer said doses will be available through the U.S. Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, placing an emphasis on locations that reach customers in underserved communities with limited access to healthcare.
This week marks the beginning of former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, all while lawmakers try to figure out what to do with the next round of coronavirus relief.Congressman Pete Sessions, (R) District 17, joined the crew on BVTM Monday to discuss the busy week ahead.