Breckenridge Texan

Local Pfizer vaccine clinic scheduled for Thursday; medical experts urge residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19

Local Pfizer vaccine clinic scheduled for Thursday; medical experts urge residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19
August 28
14:25 2021

By Carla McKeown and Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan

Thousands of eligible Stephens County residents remain unvaccinated for COVID-19, according to the records compiled by the local hospital, even as the number of currently active cases continues to increase. Next Thursday, Sept. 2, the Texas National Guard will bring a Pfizer vaccine clinic to Breckenridge to offer the vaccine to residents as young as 12.

Local Cases

On Friday, Aug. 27, Stephens Memorial Hospital reported that the number of currently active cases had risen to 61 and that three people are hospitalized locally. That’s up from the 36 active cases and one hospitalization on Aug. 20.

But the number of new cases is even higher than it may seem, because several people were moved off of the “active” list – 14 to the “recovered” list and one death. The number of “Total Positive Cases” increased by 40 in past week.

In the wider region, the numbers continue to increase, as well. Hendrick Health in Abilene reports that they have 120 total COVID-positive hospitalizations (101 in Abilene and 19 in Brownwood) with 30 ICU COVID-positive hospitalizations (22 in Abilene and 8 in Brownwood).

Additionally, Hendrick reports that of those hospitalizations, 23 patients – less than 20 percent – have been fully vaccinated. Of those in ICU, four – less than 14 percent – were fully vaccinated.

Several of the recent cases in Breckenridge have been children, said Chris Curtis, director of new business for Stephens Memorial Hospital. But, only about 23 local kids between the ages of 12 and 15 have been vaccinated, he said.

From Dr. Kelli Windsor’s perspective

In the late night hours between Friday and Saturday, Breckenridge’s Dr. Kelli Knight Windsor posted on her Facebook account that she had diagnosed eight patients on Friday, two of whom needed to be hospitalized. None were vaccinated, she said.

“One who was hospitalized is only 29 years old with no chronic health problems, the other is 65 with multiple chronic health problems,” the doctor wrote.

Windsor’s post included the story of a local family that has been hit hard by the disease. Those who are sick include two children, their pregnant mom and their two grandparents.

“The reason I am sharing this is just to remind others what can happen if COVID goes rampant in our schools. Not only the kids are affected, but also the teachers, grandparents, mommies and daddies… Please say a prayer for this sweet family tonight. And please do your part to keep others safe,” Dr. Windsor wrote, encouraging parents to keep sick kids at home and get them tested for COVID. “Also, if you are eligible for a COVID vaccine but have not gotten one yet, I encourage you to do so. The vaccines are not 100% at preventing illness but are still highly effective at reducing the severity of illness and helping you recover faster.”

Click below to read Dr. Windsor’s full Facebook post:

Dr. Kelli Windsor on COVID-19

I diagnosed 8 people with COVID-19 today while at clinic. I had to hospitalize two of them due to low oxygen levels. One who was hospitalized is only 29 years old with no chronic health problems, the other is 65 with multiple chronic health problems. None of the 8 patients today had received a covid vaccine.

Meanwhile, the TEA seems to be taking a very vague stance and not issuing any solid guidance to our schools on how to keep our children and families safe. Let me share a story of one of my patients. The first person in his family to get covid was his grandson, who happens to live with him. The grandson became symptomatic after the first week of school and was tested at school and then sent home. Subsequently, the little brother developed symptoms, and then the grandfather, then the grandmother, and then the pregnant mom. Both grandparents have chronic medical issues that put them at risk for severe illness related to covid. They had not been vaccinated because they had fears about the vaccine. The reason I am sharing this is just to remind others what can happen if covid goes rampant in our schools. Not only the kids are affected, but also the teachers, grandparents, mommies and daddies…

Please say a prayer for this sweet family tonight. And please do your part to keep others safe. If your child has possible symptoms of covid such as nasal congestion, cough, fever, or nausea/diarrhea then please get them tested before sending them to school. If they have been exposed to covid, please keep them home for the recommended quarantine time (14 days after exposure, or can be shortened by receiving a negative PCR test at least 5 days after exposure).

Also, if you are eligible for a covid vaccine but have not gotten one yet, I encourage you to do so. The vaccines are not 100% at preventing illness but are still highly effective at reducing the severity of illness and helping you recover faster. With delta variant, the Moderna vaccine is still estimated to have around 85% effectiveness at preventing illness in general. I have overseen hundreds of doses of Moderna and J&J vaccines given at our clinic, and truthfully have not seen any of my patients have severe side effects or reactions the past 8 months. We give the Moderna vaccine on Wednesday afternoons at Breckenridge Medical Center. CVS has Moderna and J&J vaccines, and Walmart has Moderna. The National Guard will be coming to the First United Methodist Church on September 2nd and doing a clinic with the Pfizer vaccine from 10 AM to 4 PM. Plenty of opportunities. If you have specific concerns or questions about the different vaccines, feel free to call me at clinic next week–254-559-3363.

Thank you for your help.

Pfizer Vaccine Clinic

Stephens County will host its first Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination clinic from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 2, at the First United Methodist Church Christian Life Center. The vaccine offered will be the first dose of the two-dose vaccination, and it will be available to anyone age 12 and older.

The Pfizer vaccine was officially approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week. “The FDA’s approval of this vaccine is a milestone as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. While this and other vaccines have met the FDA’s rigorous, scientific standards for emergency use authorization, as the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, the public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. “While millions of people have already safely received COVID-19 vaccines, we recognize that for some, the FDA approval of a vaccine may now instill additional confidence to get vaccinated. (Wednesday’s) milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the U.S.”

Clinical trials have shown the vaccine to be 91 percent effective in preventing COVID-19, which is caused by the novel coronavirus. Although the vaccine may be less effective against the Delta variant of the virus, research is ongoing to determine if the symptoms are milder in “breakthrough” cases, cases where people who have been vaccinated contracted the disease.

Other local vaccine opportunities

The Breckenridge Medical Center offers COVID-19 vaccinations on Wednesdays, and Walmart and CVS pharmacies offer the vaccinations on a walk-in basis.

The Moderna vaccine, which is offered here on a regular basis, is available for anyone age 18 or older.

According to Vaccines.gov, the Pfizer vaccine is available regionally in Graham, Cisco, Clyde, Mineral Wells and Abilene.

 

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