With information changing daily, patience is certainly a virtue if you are wanting to receive any of the COVID-19 vaccines. Almost as quickly as CHRISTUS Mother Frances Clinic announced that they would release some vaccines for Phase 1b recipients this week, all of the appointment times were taken up. Some local pharmacies continue to take names even though they do not know if and when they will receive vaccines, and the two local national chains, CVS and Walgreens, are not taking names at all other than healthcare workers. Most of the doses from national chains are designated to go to long term nursing facilities. In fact, KSST News was told late last week by staff of Walgreens that they believed their vaccine doses would not be made available to the general public until March or April.
Now for the good news. CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital in Sulphur Springs hopes to wrap up the initial offering of their doses to healthcare workers and first responders by the end of this week. Their staff has been working diligently to reach out to any eligible healthcare worker and first responder in their coverage area and make the vaccine available to them. That process is close to completion and then the hospital will be able to make even more doses available to the next phases.
Even though the local pharmacies don’t know the quantity or timing of their next batches of vaccine, the manufacturers are sure to continue to ship vaccines to those pharmacies as they become available. Also, two more manufacturers are getting closer to approval of their vaccines. Johnson & Johnson is in the process of getting emergency use authorization by the FDA, as well as AstraZeneca has had their vaccine approved in the U.K. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a “one-shot” dosage, which should make it’s distribution a little easier. Approval of these two vaccines will certainly make more doses available overall, and they both have easier storage protocols as compared to the original Pfizer vaccine.
As we move forward, our local situation is sure to improve and the vaccines will be made available to each group sooner rather than later. Patience is a virtue.
KSST News will keep you informed of the latest information, as we receive it.