Centralized phone line for vaccinations coming after more shipments arrive

VICTORIA, Texas – As vaccine rollout and distribution continues across the country, 1,800 vaccines are headed to the DeTar Hospital System according to data from the state dashboard on Wednesday evening.

Victoria County Health Department Director David Gonzales said by the end of the week we may see the release of a centralized phone line. It would be similar to the COVID-19 hotline, for those who are ready for their vaccinations that are 65 years or older or with certain medical conditions, also known as Phase 1B.

The health department is awaiting the arrival of additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to finish administering it to their healthcare professionals. Once completed and once more doses arrive, the health department will be ready to administer the vaccine to those part of Phase 1B.

“Folks are welcome to call into the health department but keep in mind we’re getting a large number of calls right now, with questions and it may be hard to get through or get someone to get back to you in a timely manner,”  Gonzales said. “The best thing to do is to really  monitor our Facebook page and our website and local media to get that news and information but once we have a centralized number to make an appointment to get a vaccine we will definitely push that out.”

The director said the county has no control over what individual pharmacies and hospitals do with extra vaccines that aren’t used by healthcare professionals or first responders that are part of that first wave. It could go to someone who is close by or someone that is part of the Phase 1B group that knows a staff member that works there who is ready to call so that the vaccine is used instead of thrown away.

“For example, there was a private physician here that got some doses already here in town, which is great, and they were able to get them out to their patients that are high risk,” Gonzales said. “And then some others have moved onto 1B, and there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just a matter of how much vaccine is available to those groups and who their target audiences are.”

Gonzales also says that flu numbers are down, which he credits to social distancing spurred by the ongoing pandemic.

Go here to view the state’s data dashboard on vaccine distribution and to get more information about Phase 1B.