McKinney vaccine hub closes

As community members consider getting a third COVID-19 dose in the future, some may have to look in a different place than before for appointments. 

For now, McKinney will likely not be reinstating its vaccine hub operations, McKinney Fire Chief Danny Kistner said Tuesday. 

“And the reason being is vaccine is so plentiful out there right now through conventional channels, so we are recommending people contact their local healthcare provider,” he said.

That determination comes after officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a statement Aug. 18 announcing plans for providing COVID-19 “booster” shots beginning in the fall. 

McKinney’s fire department began administering vaccines in late December and ended up giving over 50,000 shots before phasing out hub operations at the end of April. 

“There’s just a lot of vaccine out there right now,” Kistner said. “When we stood up the vaccine hub, it was to help with a particular niche or to get vaccine into the most vulnerable, because at the time it just really wasn’t happening, and so we kind of stepped up to help fulfill that need. But like I said, now the vaccine is just plentiful, it’s available for those that want it. So in the immediate future, I really don’t see us stepping up another vaccine clinic.” 

Kistner said those who did receive their first doses through McKinney’s hub can contact their local pharmacy or healthcare provider to schedule getting another shot. The first step, however, is to check the date on their vaccine cards: the HHS announcement said it was prepared to offer booster doses starting the week of Sept. 20 to those who had received a second dose at least eight months prior.

The city of McKinney has said that those who received a COVID-19 vaccination through McKinney's hub and who may have lost their vaccination cards should contact the Collin County Health Department or their primary care physician to obtain their records.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that immunocompromised individuals receive an additional vaccine dose at least 28 days after a second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. 

“We do appreciate everybody that has gotten vaccinated, and we strongly encourage those that haven’t been vaccinated to seek vaccination,” Kistner said. 

Kistner referenced an increasing hospitalization rate, adding that he understood that many hospitalized COVID-19 patients had not been vaccinated. 

As of Wednesday, Collin County reported that 439 of its hospital beds were occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients in general and intensive care units, including both Collin County residents and non-county residents. Total general and specialty hospital bed capacity in Collin County is 2,702, the county has stated. 

Collin County’s COVID-19 hospitalization count has generally increased since June rising from the 41 reported hospitalizations on June 21, according to the county dashboard. 

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