COVID-19 vaccine file

By the beginning of the week, Collin County found itself stuck in the “gearing up” phase for further COVID-19 vaccine deployment.

After receiving and allocating 1,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine in a matter of days in late December, the county was left with a growing vaccine waitlist with no additional vaccine to administer.

Since then, Collin County has established a county-wide partnership with 25 cities and towns, private sector providers and other entities to prepare for a large-scale vaccine deployment. Collin College and some school districts have also joined the partnership, and the county on Monday approved working with Curative Medical Associates Inc. to operate a mass distribution megacenter in the county.

“In all of this strategy, in all of this plan, the one missing piece is we don’t have any doses,” Collin County Judge Chris Hill said during a Monday County Commissioners Court meeting.

Hill said the county had pivoted quickly to the state’s new plan of using hubs for vaccine distribution.

We weren’t originally prepared to do a mass distribution center because that wasn’t the state’s guidance, and that wasn’t the state’s plan,” he said. “But we will have immediately shifted to do that. Collin County stands ready to launch a large-scale distribution center.”

Those remarks came one day before neighboring Denton County administered the first round of the 3,500 vaccines it had received for the week after being deemed as a vaccination hub by the state. Collin County had not been on the hub list that was shared by the state Jan. 10.

On Tuesday, the county sent a letter to John Hellerstedt, commissioner with the Texas Department of State Health Services, that included signatures from commissioners as well as local state senators and state house representatives. The letter said Collin County Health Care Services stood ready and able to operate vaccination “mega-sites” and requested additional vaccine doses be allocated to the county as soon as possible.

“We anticipate that we can vaccinate up to 6,000 people per day starting the week of Jan. 25,” the letter stated.

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