Local authorities are asking the state to grant them the opportunity to set up three vaccine distribution hubs in Guadalupe County.
Representatives from Guadalupe County, the city of Seguin and Guadalupe Regional Medical Center submitted a detailed plan on Tuesday to the Texas Department of State Health Services on how they would disseminate vaccines to community members, a joint news release read.
The plan, if granted, would set up three large scale vaccine hubs — one at the Seguin Coliseum, one on the west side of the county and one on the north side of the county — delivering up to 1,000 COVID-19 vaccines a day.
“There is not a waiting list for vaccines,” the group said. “If the state grants the allocation request, we will clearly communicate the registration and scheduling process to the public.”
The plan to deliver as many vaccines as possible as quickly as possible in Guadalupe County will hinge on volunteers helping at the hubs, GRMC Public Information Officer Elizabeth McCown said. She said volunteers likely will include county employees, hospital employees, maybe school nurses and others with skill sets making them good fits for certain roles.
“We would utilize these folks to get shots in arms in Guadalupe County and Seguin,” McCown said, adding that shots won’t be available to all segments of the population initially. “We have to go with the guidelines to open it up to people who are eligible at the time. We’re just going to have to go with what we’re being told at the time.”
Just before Christmas, GRMC received 800 doses of a vaccine and administered those doses in a matter of a couple days to hospital employees and other eligible recipients, McCown said. That clinic held a few weeks ago was a precursor to what’s included in the new plan, she said.
“The plan we’ve laid out, it’s a pretty detailed plan, we believe we can make that work,” McCown said. “We’re just going to need vaccines and volunteers when the time comes.”
The plan includes detailed lists of staffing for the hubs, how the hubs will run, who will administer vaccines, how and where recipients are monitored after getting the shot and more, she said.
It includes a list of supplies, staff, roles needed to be filled and other “meat and potatoes” items to help the hubs run smoothly, McCown said.
Medical professionals will administer the vaccines, Guadalupe Emergency Management Coordinator Patrick Pinder said. The plan submitted Tuesday detailed efforts at the Seguin Coliseum and plans for hubs in Guadalupe County near the New Braunfels and Schertz-Cibolo areas are being developed, he said.
Each hub will have it’s own plan, Pinder said.
“This plan is necessary to show the state that smaller communities outside San Antonio are able to support large vaccination distributions in their community,” he said. “Before this plan was presented to the state, other communities like ours were doing the same thing. We’re not the only jurisdiction that’s submitted a plan.”
At a news conference on Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott reminded Texas residents that the Pfizer vaccine was approved for emergency release just a month ago, with the Moderna vaccine’s release approved the following week.
“He announced that the state is working on large-scale hub vaccination centers capable of vaccinating thousands of people in one day with plans for 28 large-scale vaccine hubs and 206 in smaller communities around the state,” the group said. “Health care workers, those 65 and up and those with chronic healthcare conditions are primary priority.”
All three entities said they will continue to ensure the community will receive the COVID-19 vaccine as it becomes available.
Getting those vaccines is paramount to halting the deadly virus, McCown said.
“It seems like the only way through this pandemic is through a concerted effort to vaccinate as many of the public as possible and as quickly as possible,” she said. “We have seen the devastation it has wrought on many of our families and we don’t want to see it continue.”