Health leaders continue to make plans for vaccine distribution

Local News

WICHITA COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — As COVID-19 numbers continue to cause serious concern, health officials are monitoring the numbers while making plans for more vaccine distribution to move the county toward a safer future.

CDC guidelines on vaccines continue to evolve with changes even Friday morning.

However, with not enough vaccines for all who want one right now, health officials are asking residents to be patient and get on waiting lists and to be consistent in following safeguards.

“Is this spike protein unique to all coronaviruses?” Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health board member Tonya Egloff said.

This question has been asked by health officials across the country.

Officials are now asking if the vaccines now being given also protect against changing strains of the virus.

Dr. Keith Williamson, board member and MSU Medical Director compares the spike proteins on the coronavirus to a key for a door with a specific lock.

“If the key changes too much it won’t work anymore and they can’t get in so fortunately so far the vaccine has continued to be effective even against those variants that have turned up,” Williamson said.

Other questions concerned the sometimes conflicting guidelines on who should be first in line for the vaccines based on CDC versus Texas guidelines.

“The CDC guideline says we can vaccinate school teachers now as well but the Department of State Health Services developed an expert vaccination panel and it’s made up of local health department, medical physicians, legislators and other individuals who are meeting weekly to determine what the priority groups will be for the state of Texas,” Kreidler said.

Kreidler said concerns and reports of some providers hoarding vaccines is not the case here.

“As we’re getting vaccines in we’re working very hard to get those out the most timely and safest manner for individuals,” Kreidler said.

Officials hope as time unfolds and more information and vaccine becomes available such concerns and questions will be dispelled.

State officials said hundreds of thousands of doses will be arriving in Texas next week and many will be earmarked for areas where large numbers of the population can be vaccinated in the fewest number of days.

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