About 10% of rural hospitals in Texas have not received a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a group representing rural hospitals in the state.
Of the 16 hospitals unallocated, 15 vaccine deliveries asked a nearby provider or pharmacy for a dose to be vaccinated, said Don McBeath, Texas government relations director. Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals (TORCH) told CNN.
“There has been a great deal of dissatisfaction in recent weeks with many rural hospitals in Texas as they watch the state move into the general public category of vaccine care. But we have a lot of rural hospitals that don’t even have one. Can get anything for their frontline workers, “said McBeath.
Last week, 25 of the state̵7;s 157 rural hospitals had not received the vaccine delivery, according to McBeath on Sunday, an update from the state on vaccine allocation revealed 16 rural hospitals. These locations are not yet on the distribution list, including the Golden Planes Community Hospital.
“We didn’t get a single dose,” said Don Bates, Golden Planes CEO. Some of his employees were vaccinated at local United supermarkets, which had special doses to be shared.
McBeath said the Covid-19 rise seen in Texas and across the country. “Worse or worse” in rural areas, where small hospitals are unable to provide staff from commission due to the large number of patients who need care
If some of these hospitals have staff sick or are quarantined from COVID-19 exposure, “you don’t even have enough staff to operate 24 hours a day,” he said.
“That’s why we’re asking states to make rural hospitals a top priority to find ways to make it work,” he added.
Hospitals must have an application accredited by the Texas Department of State Health Services before they can receive and administer the vaccine.
“There are also some hospitals that register as a vaccine provider. We work diligently with TORCH and its facilities to help complete the process so they can get vaccines,” said Chris Van Deusen. Director of Media Relations The Texas Department of Health Service told CNN, “Rural hospitals play an important role in caring for their communities, and we will provide them with vaccines upon registration.”
Some hospital CEOs said the registration process was not easy.
Bates said he had tried to submit applications to the hospital at least ten times. “When you use your computer with the app and they ask for another fix, that will leave you waiting 14 working days,” he said.
Bates is like calling a fire brigade when your house is on fire and they say, “How many buckets of water do you need?”
He said his application was approved last week. But the hospital has not been told how and when it will receive it.
“If we get approval, send me the vaccine,” Bates said.
Nathan Staggs, CEO of Anson General Hospital, another hospital waiting to receive the vaccine, said his application was approved on Wednesday. He said nearly half of his employees had recently been infected with the coronavirus and some others had received volumes from local pharmacies.
“My employees were very uncomfortable – ‘Why would I go to the drugstore in the grocery store in Abilene and get vaccinated? But I can’t get the vaccine at work? ” ‘Said Stacks.
Expanding access to vaccines
Nationwide, the launch of the coronavirus vaccine was slower than initially expected by federal officials. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday that more than 10 million people have been sick and 29.3 million doses of the vaccine have been given by stimulation by federal officials.Many states are opening the vaccine to additional priority groups.
The Texas Department of Health Services said in a statement on its website that during the week of Jan. 11, Texas will order most of the COVID-19 vaccines it receives to sites or large centers in the state for injection. The vaccine is given to more than 100,000 people.
Bates said these vital centers could be several hours away for people living in rural communities. When vaccinated to a wider public, he said, his employees are still waiting for their turnover.
“What does that mean for us, do we wait any longer?” He said.
Texas, like other states, is working to speed up vaccine administration. The health department has regular communication with the head of the hospital.
Bates said the message from the state was clear: “Take more arms.”
“So give me the vaccine and I’ll do it,” he said.