Lubbock Health Department helping nursing homes prepare for vaccine

KLBK News

LUBBOCK, Texas — In a press conference on Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott announced 224,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine are expected to be delivered across the state by the end of the week.

As Abbott announced this, the first healthcare worker at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center received their first dose of the vaccine.

“If 80 percent of the population were to get the vaccine and it was 90 percent effective, then more than 70 percent of everyone would have antibody and then we would predict that the COVID-19 pandemic would end in this country,” Dr. Steven Berk, Dean of the Texas Tech School of Medicine said.

Gov. Greg Abbott said before the year is over, more than one million Texans will have been vaccinated.

“Long-term health care facilities will be receiving these vaccines later on this month. As well as local health departments, state hospitals and state supported living centers,” Abbott said.

Katherine Wells, Director of Public Health for the City of Lubbock, said the Lubbock Health Department has been helping our own nursing homes prepare to enroll in a federal program to ensure they receive their vaccinations.

“[This] will allow pharmacies to enter the nursing home and provide vaccinations there on-site to both the staff and the residents in those facilities,” Wells said.

Pharmacies like Walgreen’s and CVS will even take care of the paperwork, store the vaccine and keep track of the important second dose.

“That’s going to be the fastest way to get the residents vaccinated at this time,” Wells said.

The Lubbock Health Department is following state guidelines on what order folks will be getting the vaccine. Once it’s available to the general public, distribution will be similar to the Texas Vaccines for Children Program.

“As we move forward, we’re going to see vaccine available at our primary care offices, at our community pharmacies… like United Supermarkets enrolled,” Wells said.

Wells said it’s important that folks begin thinking about the vaccine now, so when it’s time to get it, they’ll be ready.

“Start having those conversations now with your doctor. We really want to encourage the vaccination of our whole community. That’s how we’re going to get back to normal,” Wells said.

UMC is set to receive their vaccines on Friday.

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