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Rockwall County Covid-19 vaccine update

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Governor Greg Abbott announced a change in the state’s strategy to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to Texans. This new strategy now being implemented by the state involves shifting available vaccines to hub locations, focused on larger metro areas including Collin County, Dallas County, Denton County, Tarrant County, and others across the state. To find additional information on vaccine hubs visit the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) website. There are no residency restrictions to receive a vaccine at any hub location in Texas. As of today, Rockwall County residents’ best opportunity to secure vaccination is by making an appointment at one of the vaccine hubs. Rockwall County has also requested to be assigned a vaccine hub through DSHS. The vaccine allocations to hubs resulted in minimal allocations to individual providers across the state, including in Rockwall County. Only those people in Phase IA and 1B are eligible for a vaccination at this time. These vaccine opportunities are evolving. Rockwall County will post any updates regarding vaccine distribution to the County Vaccine Webpage.

Rockwall County had followed the state’s original plan, which directed leaders in all 254 counties to work with pharmacies and medical service providers to get them approved to administer COVID-19 vaccines. Rockwall County Judge David Sweet and the Office of Emergency Management have assisted every provider in getting registered and approved within Rockwall County who wants to administer COVID-19. However, few of those providers have received any doses of the vaccine to date, and there has been no indication from state health officials as to when large allocations of vaccines may arrive. The state’s shift to vaccination hubs and the reservation of vaccine doses for the federal Pharmacy Partnership Program for Long-Term Care facilities are two reasons for the delay in vaccine distribution to local Rockwall County providers. Governor Abbott’s Office has stated, moving forward, first doses are expected to increase and will be dependent on the federal government’s vaccine allocation to Texas. Rockwall County is not sitting back waiting for this day to come and is using every resource to get Rockwall County citizens vaccinated.

Judge Sweet has indicated that Rockwall County’s efforts to secure more vaccine locally include working with State Representative Justin Holland’s office, leaders from each city, and five key partner providers. In light of the state’s changes in vaccine distribution strategy, Rockwall County’s efforts now align with “mass vaccination” distribution when the vaccine is available. Past and current planning efforts will enable the county to quickly and efficiently vaccinate when allocated vaccine. Planning includes detailed implementation of the modified Point of Distribution (POD) plans that the Office of Emergency Management has maintained since 2006. Until the vaccine is allocated by the state for mass distribution purposes, no county managed signup/waitlist or appointments will be made.

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