COVID-19 Vaccine Update: Help is on the way for Wichita County, but it could take time

Local News

WICHITA COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — The Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District officials said another round of Phizer’s COVID-19 vaccine arrived Monday afternoon.

Health District officials said over 1,200 rounds of the vaccine were administered this weekend at a mass vaccination clinic.

Public Health Director Lou Kreidler said the city expects to vaccinate another 1,950 residents by Wednesday from the most recent round of vaccinations received from the state Tuesday.

Kriedler is urging residents to remain patient as health officials work to vaccinate the most vulnerable to COVID-19.

“We had over 7,000 names on the waitlist when we decided to do something different with an additional program,” Kriedler said. “What we were doing was not sustainable. And so we wanted to stop taking those names until we could get those in place.”

Currently Phase 1A and 1B are still in effect, meaning healthcare workers with direct contact with COVID-19 patients, residents at long term care facilities, people over 65 years old or those with chronic health conditions are eligible to receive the vaccine.

The COVID-19 vaccine waiting list in Wichita County is currently paused due to the number of people on the list.

Kriedler said officials are working to update their waiting list system to manage the number of people interested in being vaccinated.

For those who are already on the wait list, the vaccination clinics have gone smoothly.

“We did end up doing 1,241 vaccinations in an eight hour period,” Kriedler said. “So all in all it was a really successful day for us and we are really excited about what we accomplished.”

Midwestern State University Health Director Keith Williamson said given that counties are solely dependent on the number of doses they receive from the state, Wichita County officials are doing the best they can.

“The state is in the process of rolling out a hub and spoke distribution system,” Williamson said. “They started in January and they are designated hubs that will secondarily distribute the vaccine. But, it’s not fully devised or employed yet. So we are still had to mouth every day.”

Williamson said that each health official or local health worker plays a critical role in the local distribution of the vaccine.

“We immunized over 1,000 people on Saturday. 90 Saturdays. That’s a long time,” Williamson said. “A lot of people. A lot of hands. A lot of nurses. And everybody has a role to play in this.”

It’s an all hands on deck approach to solving a global pandemic.

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