Virus Outbreak Texas

A vial of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is shown at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston on Dec. 21.

Registration to receive the COVID-19 vaccination closed roughly five hours after it opened Wednesday when all available doses were allocated.

About 450 residents will hopefully receive their first of two shots Monday, according to Denton County Public Health spokesperson Jennifer Rainey.

“The demand is obviously going to exceed the amount of supply that is available,” she said.

Texas’ Phase 1B group of people eligible for vaccinations includes people older than 65, and people older than 16 who are either pregnant or have one or more chronic health conditions.

Rainey said most of the people registered Wednesday were in the 1B group, but that doesn’t mean all those in 1A have been vaccinated. She said direction from the state instructed them to not prioritize one group over the other.

She said DCPH was aware there were still health care workers in the county who hadn’t been vaccinated yet.

Rainey said the county health department had seven people answering the phone to accept registrations Wednesday with space for 30 more callers to wait on hold.

“We have registered everybody for the vaccine that we have available,” she said Thursday afternoon. “At this time, we’re not doing a waitlist.”

Denton County commissioners are set to consider allocating funds to purchase a vaccine management system during a Friday morning meeting.

The system is the product of a partnership between Microsoft and Mazik Global. It would cost $271,000 for the first year of operation and $186,000 each subsequent year, according to the agenda item for county commissioners.

Rainey said county officials hope the system would allow the county to place residents on a waitlist for the vaccine.

It would also allow them to notify people by text and/or email when they are able to vaccinate and would automatically remind them to schedule an appointment to receive their second dose of the vaccine.

If it’s approved, a link to the registration software would be available through dentoncounty.gov/covid19vaccine.

The meeting will begin at 11 a.m. Friday. Those wishing to follow along can do so online by going to dentoncounty.gov/remote or by calling 346-248-7799 or toll-free 1-888-475-4499 (for meeting ID press 764 412 814 #).

The system would only help people register to receive vaccines through Denton County Public Health, which is only one of several entities that received vaccine shipments over this past week.

Rainey said DCPH recommends people “check with your primary care provider or local pharmacy as well, to determine when they will begin vaccinating their clients.”

Reached by phone Thursday, Rainey said the county doesn’t have any more forward notice than the general public about vaccine dispersal schedules.

The Texas Department of State Health Services had been updating the distribution schedules for the coming week each Friday, but it wasn’t immediately clear Thursday if and how New Year’s Day might affect that release.

MARSHALL REID can be reached at 940-566-6862 and via Twitter at @MarshallKReid.

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