Local residents wanting COVID-19 vaccine need to look toward San Angelo

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  • Local residents wanting COVID-19 need to look toward San Angelo
    Local residents wanting COVID-19 need to look toward San Angelo
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UPDATE: People wanting the COVID-19 vaccine can call Shannon Clinic in San Angelo and asked to be connected to ext. 2326, and they can be scheduled for the vaccine in San Angelo, said Susan Bilano, Family Health Center of Ozona Director.

 

Crockett County Residents seeking to receive the COVID-19 vaccine need to look to distributors in San Angelo.

On Monday, Jan. 4, Family Health Center of Ozona Director Susan Bilano said Crockett County Residents need to schedule an appointment with Shannon in San Angelo, and that there has not been any discussion about getting the vaccine to Ozona yet for the community.

Lyndy Stone, spokesperson with Shannon Medical Center, said Tuesday morning that Shannon is receiving a limited amount of vaccine and are working to identify patients that fall within the current criteria.

“We are telling people if they fall within the criteria for Phase 1B to contact their Primary Care Physician,” Stone said.

The Texas Department of State Health Services is taking a phased approach to rolling out COVID vaccinations.

As part of part of its phased approach, state health officials are giving the COVID vaccine to Texans who are age 65 and older as well as those with certain medical conditions.

Those in Phase 1B include:

• People 65 years of age and older

• People 16 years of age and older with at least one chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19, such as but not limited to:

• Cancer

• Chronic kidney disease

• COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)

• Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies

• Solid organ transplantation

• Obesity and severe obesity (body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or higher)

• Pregnancy

• Sickle cell disease

• Type 2 diabetes mellitus

At the top of the list include first tier, or Phase 1A recipients. Those include:

• Paid and unpaid workers in hospital settings working directly with patients who are positive or at high risk for COVID-19.

• Physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists and other support staff (custodial staff, etc.)

• Additional clinical staff providing supporting laboratory, pharmacy, diagnostic and/or rehabilitation services

• Others having direct contact with patients or infectious materials

• Long-term care staff working directly with vulnerable residents. Includes:

• Direct care providers at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and state supported living centers

• EMS providers who engage in 9-1-1 emergency services like pre-hospital care and transport

• Home health care workers, including hospice care, who directly interface with vulnerable and highrisk patients

• Residents of long-term care facilities

State health officials include a second tier as part of Phase 1A, which includes:

• Staff in outpatient care settings who interact with symptomatic patients. Such as but not limited to: Physicians, nurses, and other support staff (custodial staff, etc.)

• Clinical staff providing diagnostic, laboratory, and/or rehabilitation services

• Non 9-1-1 transport for routine care

• Healthcare workers in corrections and detention facilities

• Direct care staff in freestanding emergency medical care facilities and urgent care clinics

• Community pharmacy staff who may provide direct services to clients, including vaccination or testing for individuals who may have COVID

• Public health and emergency response staff directly involved in administration of COVID testing and vaccinations

• Last responders who provide mortuary or death services to decedents with COVID-19.

• Embalmers and funeral home workers who have direct contact with decedents

• Medical examiners and other medical certifiers who have direct contact with decedents

• School nurses who provide health care to students and teachers

On Jan. 4, 2021, state health officials listed the following places in Tom Green County where residents could be vaccinated for the coronavirus. They include:

Shannon Pharmacy:

• Where: 119 E. Beauregard Ave

• Phone: (325) 655-8191

H-E-B Pharmacy:

• Where: 3301 Sherwood Way

• Phone: (325) 942-0454

H-E-B Pharmacy:

• Where: 5502 Sherwood Way

• Phone: (325) 223-0771 Pharmacies at H-E-B are not accepting walk-ins at this time to get vaccinated for COVID-19, according to the Texas grocery store’s official website.

“In the coming days, people will be able to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination through our web-based scheduler,” which will be available on the H-E-B Pharmacy page and on heb.com.

State health officials recommend checking a provider’s website for information about the vaccine’s availability, and said the ability to get vaccinated will depend on the vaccine supply at hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies.

State health officials are asking Texans not to show up at a hospital or clinic looking for the COVID vaccine to avoid overwhelming providers. They encourage Texans to check with their provider online or over the phone to schedule a vaccination.

As of Jan. 4, 2021, nearly 6,000 doses of the vaccine for coronavirus have been shipped to pharmacies in San Angelo, according to state health officials, who say providers must vaccinate certain groups of Texans.

“All providers that have received COVID-19 vaccine must immediately vaccinate healthcare workers, Texans over the age of 65, and people with medical conditions that put them at a greater risk of severe disease or death from COVID-19. No vaccine should be kept in reserve,” said DSHS Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt.

On Monday, state health officials announced that 325,000 additional vaccine doses would be getting into the hands of 949 providers in 158 Texas counties over the next week, part of the first round of vaccinations for front-line health workers as well as nursing home residents, Texans over 65 and those with certain medical conditions, among others. Some 121,875 doses are earmarked for long-term care facilities such as nursing homes and assisted-living centers.

In Crockett County, the Texas Department of Health and Human Services reported 14 people in Crockett County have received their first dose of the vaccine. All of those fall into the Phase 1A group, including Dr. Marcus Sims, who was the first Crockett County Resident to receive the vaccine.

The Crockett County Care Center is scheduled to receive their first doses of the vaccine on Jan. 13 with the second dose scheduled for Feb. 3.

With the new shipments this week, the state has been allotted a total of 1.5 million doses through the first four weeks of distribution, officials said Monday. Providers in 214 of the state’s 254 counties will have received shipments by the end of the week, health officials said.

Some 944,275 doses had been shipped to providers by midnight Sunday, according to the Texas Department of Health Services.

Of those, 414,211 — just under half of those shipped — had been administered, according to the agency’s dashboard.

“The government will be providing the vaccines for free, but providers will be allowed to charge a fee for administering the vaccine,” according to the City of San Angelo. “Your health insurance information will be obtained from the providers to recoup the fee from public and private insurance plans and from a government fund to cover uninsured individuals. You will not have to pay anything out of your own pocket.”

Hospitalizations Increase

Less than a week into the new year, the rate of COVID-19 infections and the number of people hospitalized in Texas for COVID-19 are at record levels, while the 7-day average for new cases and deaths are spiking, according to state numbers.

On Monday, DSHS reported 302 confirmed cases for Crockett County, 222 probable cases, 10 fatalities, 43 active cases and 471 recovered. Crockett County has also conducted 2,006 COVID-19 tests, according to the state numbers.

Bilano said the Ozona Clinic had two more positives over the weekend and five more positives on Monday.

For more information visit https://www.dshs.texas.gov/ or the City of San Angelo’s COVID-19 vaccine page at https:// www.cosatx.us/departmentsservices/health-services/ coronavirus-covid-19/covid19-vaccine-information.

- San Angelo Standard-Times and the Texas Tribune contributed to this report.