Breckenridge Texan

Efforts to get COVID-19 vaccine to local residents continues with shot clinic today, Sunday, March 14

Efforts to get COVID-19 vaccine to local residents continues with shot clinic today, Sunday, March 14
March 14
10:10 2021

By Tony Pilkington and Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

Breckenridge and Stephens County residents will have an opportunity to get a COVID-19 vaccine, beginning at 10 a.m. today, Sunday, March 14, at First United Methodist Church’s Family Life Center, 419 W. Walker St.

The shots will be given free to any adult, age 18 or older, as long as the supplies last.

National Guard Medic Spec. 4 Hayward Johnson fills a syringe with COVID-19 Vaccine as he prepares to give a vaccination. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

The Texas Army National Guard will be on hand to administer the Moderna vaccine and will be back in a month to give the second doses to those getting the shot today.

Stephens County Judge Michael Roach said he and other local officials are trying to give the community as many opportunities as possible to get vaccinated against the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

“From day one, our goal was to provide as many vaccinations to those willing and wanting to receive them as possible,” Roach said. “We’re going to do our best to make sure that vaccines are available and continue to be available for those in our community who want them.”

The vaccine – providing it or receiving it – isn’t a political issue, he said. “To me, this has not been about politics, this has been about saving lives,” Roach said. “I think Governor Abbott had something that was interesting, he said, ‘Always voluntary, never mandatory.’ And I think that’s what we should do … good government provides access. And that’s, that’s what we’ve tried to do. And so my challenge would be to examine the science of it and the effectiveness of vaccines, consult with your local physician, and then make your mind up.”

Roach received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine last Sunday and said that he had no side effects, other than a sore arm from the injection. He said that he considers the vaccine to be safe, based on the number of scientists who worked on developing it. “The world was in on this together,” he said. “We had multiple scientists and platforms in the United States working off real-time data, hundreds of hours in laboratories that are so much more sophisticated than they were in the 1920s. … You know, a year probably is about right with all the technologies that we have. That’s thousands of hours of research.”

After seeing that more than 3,000 local residents signed up on the hospital’s initial registration list to get a vaccine, Roach said, he realized there was a huge demand for it here. So, he went to work, doing everything he could to get as many doses of vaccine here, such as making sure Breckenridge and Stephens County were included in the state’s Save Our Seniors program last Friday.

Save our Seniors Program

Army National Guard medics were also in Stephens County on Friday with mobile teams of medics visiting homes to give seniors and other homebound residents COVID-19 vaccinations. There were five teams that fanned out across the county, following a list of people who had been unable to get to a vaccine.

National Guard Medic Spec. 4 Hayward Johnson gives a vaccine shot to Eva Cantrell at the Stephens County Courthouse. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

They also provided some shots to people who came by the Stephens County Courthouse so that they could use up vaccine shots that were already opened and would expire hours after the vile was opened.

Stephens County was part of the second round of the program touted by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott that combines the efforts of the Texas Division of Emergency (TDEM), the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), and the Texas Military Department (TMD) to provide vaccines to seniors in 34 counties throughout the state.

The state allocated over 10,000 vaccine doses for the second week of the program, in which the state partnered with local officials and service organizations to target Texans who are 75 years and older or homebound. The first week of the project included 26 counties.

During the Save Our Senior program in Breckenridge, a local church provided lunch at McDonald’s for the National Guard members in town.

To see more photos from the Save Our Senior program on Friday, click here for the Breckenridge Texan’s Photo Gallery.

Breckenridge resident Jan Davis, who was eating at McDonald’s on Friday afternoon, takes a minute to thank National Guard troops for their service. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Other opportunities for vaccinations

Stephens Memorial Hospital and the Breckenridge Medical Center will continue to receive doses of the vaccine, with each scheduled to get 100 doses of the Moderna vaccine this week, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Additionally, the medical clinic and the Walmart and CVS pharmacies are receiving doses of the Johnson and Johnson one-shot vaccine. To get the vaccine at Walmart or CVS, you first need to go to their websites and sign up. To sign up to get the vaccine at the Breckenridge Medical Clinic, you need to call their office at 254-522-6236.

Members of the Texas Army National Guard who came to Breckenridge on Friday, March 12, as part of the Save Our Seniors program to help getting COVID-19 vaccine to local residents, pose for a photo with Stephens County Judge Michael Roach. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Cutline, top photo:  National Guard Medic Spec. 4 Thomas Kaminske gives a COVID-19 vaccine to Roxana Delacruz on her front porch on Friday, March 12, while her mom, Araceli Delacruz (seated) and sister, Blanca Delacruz (standing) look on. Vaccine team member Sgt. Arturo Aranda, at left, assisted with the paperwork portion. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

To see more photos from the Save Our Senior program on Friday, click here for the Breckenridge Texan’s Photo Gallery.


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