After learning the state would make 1,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine available, officials with the Nacogdoches County Emergency Management Office hastily coordinated a shot clinic Thursday at the County Expo and Civic Center.
The inoculations will be available for those high-risk patients who have registered with their providers.
“Walk-ins will not be accommodated as all appointments have been filled,” the Emergency Management Office said in a statement Wednesday, hours after Nacogdoches Fire Chief Keith Kiplinger detailed the roll-out at the Rotary Club of Nacogdoches.
Health care providers, clinics and hospitals already have contacted their most high risk patients who have qualified for the vaccine, and scheduled them with time slots for the clinic.
For now, the best way to get the vaccine is to register ahead of time with one’s doctor or pharmacy, said Jessica Sowell, spokeswoman for the county emergency management office.
“There are a lot more people who need and want the vaccine than number of vaccines we have,” she said, recalling one provider that recently received 100 vaccines, but had more than 600 qualified patients registered to receive them.
Those qualified for the first phases of vaccinations — health care workers, long-term care residents and those over 65 with a chronic medical condition — are encouraged to keep an eye on the state’s updated vaccine provider map at bit.ly/3oDhjHu for vaccine availability.
Brookshire Brothers pharmacy recently launched an online portal to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine waiting list at BrookshireBrothers.com/covid-19. While this particular waiting list will not be used for Thursday’s shot clinic, officials anticipate many opportunities in the coming months to distribute vaccine doses.
Department of State Health Services this week organized 28 vaccination hubs throughout the state, and those who qualify for a vaccine may get it at these regardless of where they live. Hub locations, contact information and registration sites can be found at bit.ly/3qjZOMP.
Nacogdoches has received a limited supply of vaccines-- 3,100 doses for a population of 65,000. As supply increases and Nacogdoches is provided additional allotments, emergency management personnel will continue to coordinate with providers to distribute the vaccine. A more centralized scheduling system, easily accessible to all, is under development, officials say.
The joint Nacogdoches Call Center is available to answer questions at 936-468-4784 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.