CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues to ramp up across the state, including in the Coastal Bend.
According to the State Health Department's vaccine dashboard, as of Jan. 15, over 13,000 people in Nueces County have gotten their first round of shots. Over 1,500 people have received both shots.
The limit for the vaccine drive on Friday was reached shortly after 6 a.m., two hours before the clinic opened. Police handling traffic in the area had to turn vehicles away.
Another mega vaccine clinic for Phase 1A and Phase 1B individuals will be held Saturday, Jan. 16, beginning at 8 a.m. at the Richard Borchard Fairgrounds in Robstown. The city plans to vaccinate another 2,500 people.
The health district said it hopes to receive another 4,000 doses on Monday, Jan. 18. If the district does receive vaccines on Monday, it will activate another mega vaccination drive on Tuesday, Jan. 19.
The shipment of vaccines being used Friday and Saturday arrived Thursday as a surprise to many.
If you plan to attend, you'll need to enter along Texas Yes Boulevard and continue to the old Aviator's baseball stadium parking lot. That's where people will get registered on-site.
There will be no online pre-registration this time.
The early vaccine shipment comes after Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales and Mayor Paulette Guajardo reached out to the state officials requesting additional vaccines, officials said.
It only took about 24 hours for the Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District to distribute 4,000 COVID-19 vaccines to Coastal Bend residents earlier this week, some that registered online and some who just showed up to wait for a chance at receiving the shot.
The distribution effort was expected to last all week, but volunteers gave out the last of the 4,000 Moderna doses on Tuesday.
"Vaccinating with a sense of urgency is really key here," Public Health Director Annette Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said while the first day was a little slow, it was all made up on the second day. 4,249 people were vaccinated in total.
"Each vile gives you 10 people that you can vaccinate, but sometimes you have a little bit more at the bottom and you can actually get a whole 11 out of them," Rodriguez said. "So whatever extra we get, we don't waste anything. We make sure we use it and vaccinate people."
There is no need to wait for the next batch of vaccines to arrive. Residents are advised to check the City-County Health District's website to find a vaccine provider near them.
"And there you can see the providers, like you can see H-E-B, and you can actually click on it and see if they have any vaccine left," Rodriguez said.
Because all the vaccines are coming from the state, anyone who is within the Phase 1-A or 1-B categories is eligible to receive a vaccine.
"Because we are a hub that was identified by the State of Texas, we are for any jurisdiction, even for the State of Texas. Any one from the U.S. comes over, any person from Mexico comes over, we are to vaccinate them," Rodriguez said. "There is no residency requirement."
The goal, Rodriguez said, is to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible.
Even if you received your first dose of the vaccination, remember to continue to practice safe distancing, wash your hands often and wear a mask.
For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.
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