Terrell residents got a double dose of good news this week with the announcement of vaccination sites at TVCC’s Health Science Center and at Walmart, both in Terrell.
Kaufman County has begun registering people to receive the two-dose coronavirus vaccine at its hub vaccination center, the county announced earlier this week. To register, visit: https://www.kaufmancounty.net/ and click on the yellow banner at the top of the screen.
Walmart also announced this week that its Terrell store is among six in Texas added to its list of vaccination centers. Walmart is expected to launch online schedulers next week, so eligible populations (those in groups 1A or 1B) can sign up directly from the company’s website. Until then, patients wanting to schedule appointments should check the Texas Department of State Health State Health Services (DSHS) website, the company said.
In terms of the county’s TVCC Health Sciences site, vaccine is expected to arrive the week of Feb. 1 and will be available to people who’ve registered, beginning with groups 1A and 1B, as supplies allow. The goal is to provide up to 1,000 vaccines per week, expanding to 2,000 per week as more vaccines become available, according to Kaufman County. TVCC’s Health Sciences Center is at 1551 S. Texas Hwy. 34 in Terrell.
County Judge Hal Richards said the center will be adequately staffed with people to administer shots, many of whom will be volunteers from the fields of nursing and emergency management services.
The county found out this week that it can apply for FEMA reimbursements at 100 percent, meaning the center will be operated through federal funding, according to Richards.
“We’ll be running this thing for months,” Richards said.
All the pieces are in place to operate the center. It just needs vaccine, which will be allotted to the county by the DSHS, according to Richards.
“We are hopeful we will get some number of vaccines released to us the first week in February,” Richards said.
DSHS gets an allotment from the federal government, and then the agency decides how to allocate it to its different sites in Texas.
Before the county announced the vaccination hub at the Health Science Center, the city of Terrell had begun the process of becoming a vaccine provider, City Manager Mike Sims said this week.
“That’s the main thing I hear from citizens now is that I’ve got to get vaccinated,” he said, adding the city is thrilled with the vaccination center at TVCC’s Health Science Center.
“Because Richards and (State Rep. Keith) Bell were able to turn on a larger funding opportunity, and because Trinity Valley was able to (offer) a great facility, it just all came together to a much larger (operation) than we ever thought we’d ever be able to do on our own.”
Terrell’s EMTs will play a key role in administering shots, Sims said.
“If you get a shot, chances are you’ll be getting a shot from a paramedic who is a city of Terrell employee.”
Kaufman County reported 486 suspected COVID-19 infections as of Jan. 27, a number that’s been slowly trending down from 800 on Jan. 16, according to DSHS. Since the start of the pandemic, 12,688 people in Kaufman County have been confirmed positive for COVID-19 and 176 have died.