Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Local health officials prepare for vaccine rollout, but will residents get vaccinated?

WACO, TX – With an advisory panel’s approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine Thursday and the likely shipment of the first doses of a vaccine soon to Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center and Ascension Providence Hospital, the Waco-McLennan County Health District is preparing for the phased rollout of vaccines throughout the county.

“We don’t know when we are going to get them in mass numbers, but we are ready,” health district spokeswoman Kelly Craine said Thursday.

“Our main goal right now is that we are trying to make the vaccine as easy as possible for people to get,” she said.

Each hospital is scheduled to receive 995 doses of the vaccine.

“The initial doses will be used on frontline hospital staff and at-risk groups,” Craine said.

Plans are being made to distribute later shipments much as flu vaccines are.

“There are already 48 different providers in the county that have registered with the state,” she said.

With plans being made, the question now becomes will people take the drug?

Some say yes.

“I feel strongly that if science says we are safe then yes I will definitely be taking it,” Will Brewer said Thursday.

Other aren’t so sure.

“I am not a huge vaccine fan in the first place and definitely since they rushed it I wouldn’t feel comfortable taking it,” Hope Glueck said.

However, local health officials emphasized in Wednesday’s weekly McLennan County COVID-19 press conference that the vaccine is backed by science.

“COVID-19 is more of a risk to your health than any small risk of getting the vaccine,” Dr. Ben Wilson with the Waco Family Health Center said.

“There have been phase three trials with tens of thousands of people enrolled in these studies to show that it is safe,” he says.

“No, it’s not that this or anything else is 100% safe.”

“We know that crossing the street carries risk but the risk of COVID-19 is much more serious,” he said.

A poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that only about half of Americans say they’re ready to roll up their sleeves for the vaccination.

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