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By Whitney Wyatt/The Red River Sun—
CHILDRESS – Hundreds of Childress residents received COVID-19 vaccines in January, including Childress Healthcare Center residents, staff and essential caregivers, but more than 1,000 people are still waiting.
“We had even more people take the vaccine this time,” said Childress Healthcare Center Administrator Amanda Self. “Some got their second round of the vaccine, and others took it for the first time.”
Out of the 45 residents, 41 were vaccinated. Self said one of the residents who didn’t get vaccinated, now wants to. On top of that, 88% of staff were vaccinated.
Altogether, Self said 98 residents, staff and essential caregivers were vaccinated. This includes the Panhandle Transit bus driver who takes residents to dialysis, the center’s beautician and 11 family members, as well as resident Mary Lou Summers and her granddaughter Kacy Crouch.
“Now we have two sets for granddaughters and grandmothers taking the vaccine together,” Self said.
For those who are on the fence, Self encourages them to get vaccinated when they can.
“Everybody had a good experience,” Self explained. “Nobody had allergic reactions to the vaccine, but some had mild side effects like sore arm and nausea.”
The United Family, which includes United Supermarkets in Childress, also began the process of administering the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a release from the United Family.
During the first phase of the CDC vaccine rollout, each United Family site worked with its community to immunize healthcare providers. The United Family has also joined with federal and state agencies to help administer the vaccine as outlined in the phased distribution schedule from the CDC.
People can register to receive email updates about the vaccine rollout, eligibility and clinic locations at https://www.unitedsupermarkets.com/covid-19-vaccine, said Justin Pierce, general manager of United Supermarkets. An appointment is required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and there is no out-of-pocket cost to the patient, the release stated.
To be vaccinated, people have to fall in one of the two categories: be 65 years and older or be 16 years and older with at least one chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19. This includes but is not limited to cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, heart conditions, solid organ transplantation, obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease and Type 2 diabetes mellitus.
“People have been grateful,” Pierce said.
They have given out all of the vaccines they have received, and Childress Regional Medical Center (CRMC) is in the same boat. While they have vaccinated 634 people, Fox Clinic will continue a wait list for the vaccine. There are approximately 1,300 on it, said Childress Regional Medical Center Chief Operating Officer and RN Holly Holcomb.
“The state has not allotted us any more first doses,” Holcomb said. “We’ve received 400 second doses, and we need 200 more to cover what we’ve given. What we don’t have is more first doses. What we got last week and what we will get this week are second doses.”
Holcomb said their proposal to the state is for more first doses. Because of the state’s focus on urban areas, CRMC has not received doses for the last four weeks.
On Monday, Holcomb said they requested CRMC be a rural vaccination hub and asked for a weekly allotment of 1,000 vaccines.