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Texas governor acknowledges distribution rate
Vaccination of La Salle County residents against the coronavirus has progressed in the past week to reach over 1,700 people with at least a thousand more expecting shots before Friday.
Progress on the mass distribution of the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine in La Salle County has caught the attention of Texas Governor Greg Abbott, whose office issued a report this week showing that La Salle is ranked sixth in the nation for delivery, proportionately by population.
At the Fire Rescue & EMS this week, Capt. Sean Wallace said expectations of more than five hundred vaccinations per day are realistic, given last week’s track record, if the delivery of the Pfizer vaccine batches goes as promised.
“On a daily basis, we were vaccinating five hundred and forty, five hundred and fifty people,” Capt. Wallace said. “The Pfizer-brand coronavirus vaccine is delivered in batches of 975, and we have been able to get the maximum number of doses out of each bottle.”
La Salle County’s vaccinations are given at the Elderly Nutrition Center at 637 North Baylor Street.
“Rural Texas counties lead the country in vaccination rates,” Gov. Abbott wrote in a social media message on Monday, January 25. “They represent eight of the top eleven counties in America, including the number one and number two-ranked counties.”
The governor’s press release showed Baylor and Hamilton counties, Texas, as the top-ranked vaccine distribution areas in the nation, in proportion to population, followed by Schoolcraft and Ontonagon counties in Michigan, and Ford and La Salle counties in Texas. Also ranked in the top eleven counties in the nation for proportional vaccine distribution were Texas counties Armstrong, Throckmorton, Randall and Cochran.
The governor showed that nearly 14 percent of La Salle County’s population of 7,520 had been vaccinated with the first of two doses as of Jan. 25.
That number has increased to over 14 percent in the past week, according to Capt. Wallace.
“With approximately eleven hundred people vaccinated this week, we are making huge progress toward mass distribution of this vaccine,” the captain said. “We anticipate weekly deliveries of more batches.”
The Pfizer vaccine requires refrigeration at subzero temperatures; La Salle County’s deliveries have been made in dry ice, and handlers are confident that the containers are being kept at appropriate temperatures in freezers at the county’s Emergency Operations Center.
Priority vaccine recipients in La Salle County have included all emergency responders – firefighters and medics – and healthcare staff, employees at the Las Palmas Nursing & Rehabilitation Center and the residents of the facility, senior citizens and those with underlying health conditions that make them vulnerable to serious illness or death from the coronavirus, and teachers at Cotulla ISD.