LUBBOCK, Texas — On Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott released a set of guidelines for the distribution of a coronavirus vaccine, and Lubboock City Council members met for a special session to discuss an update on the coronavirus.
“This is moving very quickly,” Lubbock City Manager, Jarrett Atkinson, said. “We’re hearing more and more by the hour.”
Atkinson said the state’s plan has been several weeks in the making.
“They’ve been working with emergency management departments and with public health departments all across the state for 60 days to work on the distribution,” Atkinson said.
Atkinson said Lubbock could see the vaccine at the beginning of December, with the first batch going to our rural healthcare workers.
“We’ve got to keep the healthcare system staffed so that’s the first focus,” Atkinson said.
First responders would receive the vaccine next, then the at-risk population.
“Think of assisted-living, think of large, institutional settings where people are likely to have some other high-risk component,” Atkinson said.
The Governor’s office has stated vaccine distribution will be data-driven, balanced for people living in rural and urban areas, the state will share where the vaccine is going and seek feedback, and will also try to tackle inequity.
“This is the component that gets in and takes out any limits that we may have because of an inability to pay,” Atkinson said. “This is mitigating an inequity in access. It’s making sure it’s widely, widely available.”
Across the Hub City, Atkinson said there are 48 sites ready to administer the vaccine, and the number is expected to rise.
“All 48 will not get the first batch. There just won’t be enough, but as more comes, it will be distributed more and more widely,” Atkinson said.
When the supply chain gets going, Atkinson said we could start seeing the vaccine at doctor’s offices, pharmacies, pop-up and drive-thru clinics.
The Health Department will monitor allocations and vaccination rates.