Vaccine

The Parker County Hospital District has been designated as a Rural COVID-19 Vaccine Hub by the Texas Department of State Health Services. With this designation, PCHD will receive and administer approximately 2,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine every week. The first shipment is expected to arrive this week.

"Being designated as a rural vaccine hub will require some changes to allow us to administer vaccine on such a large scale," said Dr. Steven Welch, chief medical officer for PCHD and the local health authority for Parker County. "The biggest change is that we are transitioning from a waiting list to an online scheduling system where you can schedule a date and time to receive your vaccine.

"To make this transition and remain fair to those who have already been placed on the waiting list, we have a three-step approach."

Those steps include the following:

• Those who have already received their first dose from PCHD (either at a drive thru or in the office), will be receiving their second dose the week of Feb. 1. Those given an appointment time and location need to keep that appointment. For those who were not given appointment information at the time of the first dose, the hospital district will be contacting you. If you have already had your first dose of vaccine, you do not need to sign up for your second dose; those who do not already have scheduled appointments will be contacted.

• For those on the PCHD waiting list, the hospital district will begin contacting you this week to schedule a date and time for your vaccination. Currently, there are close to 4,000 people on our waiting list, Welch said. Nevertheless, everyone on this list should be able to receive their vaccination by Jan. 31. Those on the waiting list do not need to do anything else, as they will be contacted by the PCHD.

• For everyone else, there is now an online appointment system. The online system allows PCHD to be more efficient in scheduling a vaccine appointment. Beginning at noon on Monday, Jan. 18, if you are in one of the vaccination priority groups (currently Phase 1A and Phase 1B), visit www.pchdtx.org, where you can sign up for a date and time to receive your vaccination. For those that may have difficulty accessing the website, call the hospital district at 817-341-2520 and they will schedule an appointment for you when you call. All vaccines will be given by appointment only.

"Being designated as a Rural Vaccine Hub is the result of the combined efforts of the hospital district, the county and our local state representative," Welch said. "This is a giant step forward; but please realize that even with 2,000 vaccines each week, we remain in a situation where the demand is still greater than the supply.

"We know many of you are anxious to receive your COVID-19 vaccine. We ask for your continued patience and support during this trying time for all of us. Please rest assured we are working tirelessly to get vaccine in the arms of everyone in our community as efficiently and conveniently as possible."

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