CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Tuesday, the first COVID-19 vaccines will be distributed in the Coastal Bend, along with more than 224,000 doses being distributed to facilities in Texas this week.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, CHRISTUS Spohn Shoreline will receive 4,875 doses of the vaccine, while Corpus Christi Medical Center will receive 975.
Staff members at CHRISTUS Spohn Shoreline are expected to be the first members of the community to receive the vaccine.
“CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi – Shoreline, the hub for storage and distribution of the COVID vaccine for CHRISTUS Spohn facilities in the Coastal Bend, is set to receive the first shipment Tuesday morning. This means after the vaccine is thawed, the first doses will be administered to CHRISTUS Spohn health care workers beginning Tuesday afternoon,” the hospital said in a statement Monday.
“We understand how critical it is for our front line health care workers to receive the vaccine as they continue their commitment to care for patients in our communities,” said Dr. Osbert Blow, President and Chief Medical Officer of CHRISTUS Spohn Health System. “Our COVID-19 task force has worked hard to prepare for this important milestone and we are excited that we are the first in the Coastal Bend – and one of the first in all of South Texas – to receive and administer the vaccine.”
CCMC is also expected to receive vaccines this week. However, a specific date is not yet known.
“Corpus Christi Medical Center is anticipating the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine this week. Once we receive the vaccine, we are prepared to store, assemble and administer the vaccine to ensure maximum efficiency and safety,” the hospital said in a statement Monday.
Pfizer has trackers in each of the shipments of the vaccine, as well as devices to monitor the temperature of the vaccines in transit.
This week is just the first of shipments of COVID-19, other area hospitals, like Driscoll Children’s Hospital, are still expecting shipments as part of the first wave of shipments, though a specific date is not currently known for when those will be sent out, according to Annette Rodriguez, with the Corpus Christi-Nueces County Health District.
With the Pfizer vaccine on its way to the Coastal Bend, area front line workers will be among the first people in the country to be vaccinated against COVID-19. For some front line workers, the timing is making a better holiday season.
“Happiness and joy is so palpable, not only because of the season we find ourselves in, but also because of the vaccine that’s coming. We are looking forward to having it here ready and available for all front line associates,” said Dr. Osbert Blow, the President and Chief Medical Officer of Christus Spohn Health System.
While people have voiced concerns about the safety of the vaccine, since it was created in such a short timeframe, but local health officials have researched the vaccine, and feel comfortable taking it themselves.
“These vaccines have been developed in a very safe and effective way, following the traditional steps that every vaccine follows, and with results that have been way beyond our wildest expectations,” said Dr. Jaime Fergie, Director of Infectious Diseases at Driscoll Children’s Hospital. “I think it’s great to have safe, and highly effective, vaccines. The results of the clinical trials are really extraordinary, and I’m very happy for all of us, because this is what we need to completely control the pandemic.”
“I have heard those concerns, we have vetted that. We are very fortunate, we have wonderful people, their brilliant minds who have vetted it, who have looked at it. The one thing we do, bar none, is avoid any harm. We are a high reliability organization, and we look forward to distributing this vaccine and having immunity in our community, and look forward to hopefully a better 2021,” Blow said.
Hospitals could begin distributing vaccines to staff as early as Monday, and it will take a few days for each facility to vaccinate all staff members.