When the coronavirus vaccine becomes widely available for the general public in Coryell County, the county will be more hands-off than one surrounding county to get the vaccination to those who want it.
In neighboring Bell County, residents can sign up to be on a waiting list.
Vaccination in Coryell County will be slightly different, according to County Judge Roger Miller.
“The problem we face going forward is we really only have one medical facility in the county (Coryell Memorial Health in Gatesville),” he said. “And if we tried to funnel large waiting lists through them, we’re going to overtax our health care resources.”
So far, the answer has been to canvass the residents in the county that fall into each tier of priority for the vaccination to gauge their interest in receiving it.
The county did a survey to obtain estimates to determine approximately how many people will receive the vaccine.
“With that, we’ve been able to help funnel to the three places that have received vaccinations,” Miller said.
The three places in the county that have received the vaccine are H-E-B pharmacy in Copperas Cove, H-E-B pharmacy in Gatesville and Coryell Memorial Health.
Miller said the county will work with the three vaccine distribution locations and determine how many vaccines are available and then help encourage groups to go to receive the vaccine.
“It’s just not realistic or feasible for us to be able to try to manage a large-scale list at this point,” Miller said. “So, we want to minimize the county’s control over it in an effort to maximize flexibility of who can go get those.”
It may still take a while before the vaccine is readily available.
The Texas Department of State Health Services website currently shows spring as an estimated time frame. The website does not specify an estimated month.
Currently, the state is distributing the vaccine to those in Phase 1A and Phase 1B in the distribution plan.
Those in Phase 1A include physicians, nurses and first responders. Those in Phase 1B include those who are 65 or older and those who are 16 or older but have other chronic medical conditions.
A full list of all who are included in 1A and 1B can be found on the DSHS vaccine website at https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/immunize/vaccine.aspx.
Miller said Coryell County has been fortunate to have received an allocation of the vaccine.
“We’re one of the smaller counties that has actually received some vaccine allocations,” Miller said.