The Texas Department of State Health Services rolled out its Week 2 recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine, which includes six locations in Parker County.
“Texas expects to receive 620,400 doses of COVID-19 vaccine distributed to more than 1,100 providers in 185 Texas counties in Week 2 of vaccine distribution,” according to DSHS. “The [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] will deliver 460,500 doses of the vaccine manufactured by Moderna and 159,900 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to continue to vaccinate front-line health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities.”
Medical City Weatherford is set to receive 700 doses of the vaccine.
“Medical City Weatherford received its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines [Monday] and began administering them to colleagues immediately,” Medical City Weatherford/Fort Worth Director of Community and Public Relations Tommy Dold said.
Other locations in Parker County listed in Week 2 include Aledo Family Medicine, 500 doses; Brookshires Pharmacy in Aledo, 100 doses; H-E-B Pharmacy in Hudson Oaks, 100 doses; Brookshires Pharmacy in Springtown, 100 doses; Brookshires Pharmacy in Weatherford, 100 doses; and Medical City Weatherford, 700 doses.
Parker County Health Authority Dr. Steven Welch noted that because the supply is limited, vaccines have been prioritized and will distributed to frontline healthcare workers and nursing home residents as part of Phase 1A, followed by those over 65 and those over the age of 16 with certain chronic medical conditions for Phase 1B.
“The number of vaccines scheduled to arrive in 2020 will likely not be enough to cover all of the people in phase 1A,” he said. “If you are not in this category, we ask for your patience in waiting for further distribution. The supply of vaccines is expected to increase in the first quarter of 2021, and we will continue to roll out the vaccine to new groups as quickly as possible.”
The Parker County Hospital District has requested and is anticipating to receive a significant number of doses in the coming weeks.
“Accordingly, the Parker County Hospital District and the Parker County Office of Emergency Services are planning how they can work together,” Welch said. “As we move into subsequent phases of vaccination, this cooperative effort should ensure the residents of Parker County have good access to vaccines.”
Palo Pinto County Health Officer Dr. Ed Evans said he does not know when the vaccine will make its way to the county at this time, but did discuss what to expect from the mRNA vaccine on Facebook Live Tuesday morning.
“The first dose that you take, it may make your arm a little bit sore, it may make your arm a little bit red, you may have a little low-grade fever that may last 24 to 48 hours [and] what we need to remember is that fever is our friend in this particular situation. It basically means that the immune response is working, it’s doing what we want it to do,” Evans said. “Most authorities suggest that you don’t use aspirin or anti-inflammatories so you get a good immune response from the vaccine.”
Evans said the second dose, depending on which vaccine someone receives, will be administered 21 or 28 days following the first dose and may have similar effects.
“Most authorities feel that the maximum response to the vaccine, or when is it effective, is estimated to be two weeks after the second dose,” he said. “However, we need to continue hygiene, distancing and masks just as before because we don’t know yet whether you can still transmit the virus even though you’re protected from it. So we have to continue to think of others.”
As of Tuesday, Parker County hospitals had 22.6% of its total beds occupied by COVID-19 patients and 55.9% of its ICU beds occupied by COVID-19 patients. There were 493 active COVID-19 cases, 1,242 probable cases, 6,560 recoveries and 83 deaths.
Palo Pinto County had 13.6% of its total hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients as of press time. There were 60 active COVID-19 cases, 195 probable cases, 1,544 recoveries and 43 deaths.
Texas as a whole had 9,856 COVID-19 hospitalizations as of press time and 25,348 deaths.