Coronavirus

The Bell County Public Health District received its first 3,900 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, Bell County Judge David Blackburn announced.

Doses were delivered to the health district at 11:45 a.m. on Tuesday with inoculations slated to begin at 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning.

Blackburn said Bell County’s goal is to vaccinate 560 people daily — immunizations that will be administered at two sites: Killeen Community Center, 2201 E. Veterans Memorial Blvd; and Sammons Community Center, 2220 West Avenue D in Temple.

Both centers will operate by appointment only, and approximately 25 to 30 individuals will be staffing each site, according to the health district.

“In order to facilitate the process and a safe and orderly manner, the Bell County Public Health District (will update) its website … to register for vaccinations,” Blackburn said during a Tuesday news conference. “We would like to do our best to avoid lines, and maintain our social distancing protocols during the process. Please do not attempt any walk-ins as you will be turned away.”

Health District Director Amanda Robison-Chadwell said she will announce when the new appointment website will be made available online at BellCountyHealth.org.

But Blackburn emphasized how the health district will schedule appointments for residents that already indicated they would like to receive a vaccination — a desire that more than 4,000 people signaled late last week.

“That link is going to go live as soon as (the previously registered) individuals have been given an opportunity to be given an appointment,” Robison-Chadwell said. “Right now, there is a placeholder for where that link will go.”

Although the health district has just received its first shipment of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, Bell County officials hope to expand vaccinations in the weeks to come.

“A lot will depend on supply and how well we demonstrate to the state that we can vaccinate 500-plus individuals a day,” Blackburn said. “I believe that with the help of all our residents in Bell County that we can do this and more. But we need to demonstrate that we can.”

Residents can call the health district’s COVID-19 vaccine hotline at 254-933-5203 for further information.