Galveston County hopes to vaccinate 1,000 people per day as distribution ramps up

GALVESTON COUNTY, Texas – Galveston County Judge Mark Henry, Galveston County Local Health Authority Dr. Philip Keiser, and Dr. Janak Patel with the University of Texas Medical Branch held a news conference on Wednesday to discuss mass vaccination efforts in Galveston County.

Henry said mass drive-thru vaccinations are expected to start next week with an expected 1,000 doses administered a day, and later, hopefully an increased administration of 5,000 vaccines a day as more supply becomes available.

The first mass vaccination site in Galveston County will be at the Walter Hall Park. Tents are expected to be erected at the site on Thursday, Henry said.

“We are the last mile to use an e-commerce term,” Henry explained. “We don’t get to determine the upstream supply. We only receive what we receive, and provide the logistics and support for the site. We are going to -- we think -- be doing 1,000 (doses) a day hopefully starting next week.”

Galveston County authorities discussed mass vaccination efforts that are starting to ramp up in the county.

The vaccination site will be in Galveston County, but per state rules, will not be limited to residents of Galveston County.

The sign-up is currently through UTMB and the Galveston County Health District. Those who had canceled appointments through UTMB in a recent sign-up are being offered doses with the current batch available. Appointments through the Galveston Health District were offered online and the appointments filled within a few hours. County officials said they are working to create a waitlist in which people will be contacted, but they’re not ready to do that yet. Authorities said they’re working on a “week-by-week” basis because they’re dealing with a current unstable supply of vaccine.

Meantime, as the rush to get more people vaccinated is underway, in Galveston County 1,000 people received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the County’s Health District.

Melvin Haggler, who received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine said, “I’m very glad man. My wife called and told me hey we’re on for tomorrow and I said okay, let’s get it.”

Those who were able to get vaccinated were pretty thankful considering the limited number of appointments for those 65 and older filled up pretty fast.

Deborah Valusek, who also received the vaccine explained, “They called us yesterday and said can you come tomorrow. We said yep, we will will be there. Luckily we got in, we’re glad.”

Be sure to watch the video to be published at the bottom of this article for a full recording of this event.

About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, social media news and local crime.