Bell County residents interested in receiving a coronavirus vaccine can get on a waiting list to receive a dose.
Local residents can sign on to the waiting list at www.bellcountyhealth.org.
Amanda Robison-Chadwell, the director of the Bell County Public Health District, said earlier this week the health district is still awaiting its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines.
“But we are preparing for when we do,” she said. “The link is on our website and our social media pages.”
Robison-Chadwell asks for registered individuals who receive a vaccine elsewhere to inform the health district so they can be removed from the waiting list.
Those who sign on to the waiting list are asked for their name, phone number, email address, and if they are in a high-risk category.
Vaccination in Coryell County will be slightly different, according to County Judge Roger Miller.
“Right now, the allocations that are coming down from the state are very sporadic,” Miller said Tuesday evening.
Miller said Coryell County has been fortunate to have received an allocation of the vaccine.
“We’re one of the smaller counties that has actually received some vaccine allocations,” Miller said.
Issuing the vaccine to the residents of the county will not be as simple as putting up a waiting list, Miller said.
“The problem we face going forward is we really only have one medical facility in the county (Coryell Memorial Health in Gatesville),” he said. “And if we tried to funnel large waiting lists through them, we’re going to overtax our health care resources.”
So far, the answer has been to canvass the residents in the county that fall into each tier of priority for the vaccination to gauge their interest in receiving it.
The county did a survey to obtain estimates to determine approximately how many people will receive the vaccine.
“With that, we’ve been able to help funnel to the three places that have received vaccinations,” Miller said.
The three places in the county that have received the vaccine are H-E-B pharmacies in Copperas Cove and Gatesville, and Coryell Memorial Health.
Miller said that moving forward, the intent is not to have a waiting list, but instead the county will try to get the groups or areas that are already identified to the most appropriate place to get the vaccine.
Miller said the county will work with the three vaccine distribution locations and determine how many vaccines are available, and then help encourage groups to go to receive the vaccine.
“It’s just not realistic or feasible for us to be able to try to manage a large-scale list at this point,” Miller said. “So, we want to minimize the county’s control over it in an effort to maximize flexibility of who can go get those.”
Fort Hood’s Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center has begun offering the vaccine — when available — to residents who have access to the hospital. The hospital has been contacting high-risk beneficiaries when doses of the vaccine are available and posting updates about vaccine availability on the Darnall Facebook page.