Washington County will play a part in a new state strategy for distributing COVID-19 vaccines.
The plan, announced earlier this week by Governor Greg Abbott, focuses on new vaccine “HUBS” and “subHUBs” that are intended to help distribute vaccines faster.
As of Thursday, according to a joint press release from the City of Brenham and Washington County, the Washington County Expo has become one of the rural county vaccination subHUBs. The subHUB will be supported by both the city and the county, as well Austin County, Burleson County, Fayette County, Grimes County, Baylor Scott and White, Blinn College, Brenham ISD, Faith Mission, and the Texas Agricultural Extension Service.
State Senator Lois Kolkhorst, who serves on the state’s Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel and played a large role in securing this site for the region, said this subHUB will allow rural residents to more easily get vaccinations.
In addition, Kolkhorst said residents included in Phase 1B of the state’s vaccination plan should start seeing a ramp-up in how many vaccines are available for them.
Meanwhile, Baylor Scott & White issued a statement, late Friday, saying they’ve contacted a ‘limited number of patients in the region who fall into Phase 1B and are at higher risk’.
They went on to say their vaccination, ‘supply is extremely limited, and are unable to accommodate patient requests for vaccine at this time.
If Brenham patients have the opportunity to get the COVID-19 vaccine before contacted by Baylor Scott & White, they are encouraged to do so – and to keep a record of the immunization.
Baylor Scott & White has offered assistance to state-designated vaccination hubs in the System’s service areas, including the one at the Washington County Expo Center (Fairgrounds), and have been engaged with the vaccine distribution planning, are supplying healthcare personnel to help administer the vaccine.'
The subHUB will operate similar to what residents have seen with the drive-thru testing sites held at the Expo. Registration and ID are required; no walk-ins will be accepted. Any Texas resident can register, but priority will be given to healthcare workers, residents 65 and older, and individuals who are at high risk of contracting COVID-19 or have one or more chronic health conditions.
The vaccination subHUB will begin Tuesday and run from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Those who qualify can begin registering on Monday at 1-800-845-8035. Because of vaccine tracking purposes, residents will be required to receive the first and second dose of the vaccine from the same location. If a resident has already received the first vaccine dose, he or she must return to that same location for a second dose.
According to Emergency Management Coordinator Bryan Ruemke, as a result of the new subHUB, the drive-thru COVID-19 testing at the Expo scheduled for January 18th, 19th, 25th and 26th has been cancelled.
This information and further updates will be listed at https://localevent.info.
1A and 1B Tier Reminders
Phase 1A First Tier
- Paid and unpaid workers in hospital settings working directly with patients who are positive or at high risk for COVID-19. Such as but not limited to:
- Physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists and other support staff (custodial staff, etc.)
- Additional clinical staff providing supporting laboratory, pharmacy, diagnostic and/or rehabilitation services
- Others having direct contact with patients or infectious materials
- Long-term care staff working directly with vulnerable residents. Includes:
- Direct care providers at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and state supported living centers
- Physicians, nurses, personal care assistants, custodial, food service staff
- EMS providers who engage in 9-1-1 emergency services like pre-hospital care and transport
- Home health care workers, including hospice care, who directly interface with vulnerable and high-risk patients
- Residents of long-term care facilities
Phase 1A Second Tier
- Staff in outpatient care settings who interact with symptomatic patients. Such as but not limited to:
- Physicians, nurses, and other support staff (custodial staff, etc.)
- Clinical staff providing diagnostic, laboratory, and/or rehabilitation services
- Non-9-1-1 transport for routine care
- Healthcare workers in corrections and detention facilities
- Direct care staff in freestanding emergency medical care facilities and urgent care clinics
- Community pharmacy staff who may provide direct services to clients, including vaccination or testing for individuals who may have COVID
- Public health and emergency response staff directly involved in administration of COVID testing and vaccinations
- Last responders who provide mortuary or death services to decedents with COVID-19. Includes:
- Embalmers and funeral home workers who have direct contact with decedents
- Medical examiners and other medical certifiers who have direct contact with decedents
- School nurses who provide health care to students and teachers
Phase 1B Tier
- People 65 years of age and older
- People 16 years of age and older with at least one chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19, such as but not limited to:
- Chronic kidney disease
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies
- Solid organ transplantation
- Obesity and severe obesity (body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or higher)
- Sickle cell disease
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus