FORT HOOD, Texas — Nearly 4,000 doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine were delivered to Fort Hood Tuesday.
6 News got behind the scenes access at the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center as doctors, nurses and other hospital staff received the vaccine.
Fort Hood received a total of 3,900 doses. Hospital employees and first line responders were the first to get the shots.
"Just the amount of people who showed up was very surprising to us, said Sergeant First Class Michael Robida, "It is very encouraging because we feared how we were going to get people up here."
Fort Hood was one of the first army bases to get the vaccine due to size and population of the installation, a hospital spokesperson said.
"There's a lot of soldiers deploying and they need to be protected," Commander at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center Richard Malish said. "They are due to get one of the first shots as well. We are proud of it because it will make us be able to give the shot in bigger and bigger volumes."
Once front line responders and soldiers who are being deployed get the vaccine, then the hospital will administer the vaccine to other soldiers and families on post.
"We have about 100,000 beneficiaries, about one third solider, one third family members, and one third retirees, said Malish. "And we are going to provide it to everybody."
The vaccines are kept at Darnall Medical Center in a freezer at negative 81 degrees until they are ready to be administered.
Soldiers and trained personnel giving the shots say this is one step closer to getting back to a sense of normalcy.
"We are excited and deeply honored to be able to help our community, especially our front line workers," said Captain Eduardo Mendez Landa. "They are the ones who have been bearing the heavy weight with the fight against Covid."
Baylor Scott & White in Temple also received its first supply of the vaccine Tuesday.
Ascension Providence and Baylor Scott and White - Hillcrest in Waco were set to receive 975 doses each later in the week.
Texas will receive more than 220,000 doses of the vaccine in the first week of distribution, state health officials said.
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