Contact: Emily Weatherly
Cuero, Texas: Cuero Regional Hospital received 200 doses of the Moderna COVID 19 vaccine on December 23, 2020. These doses have been administered to health care staff and area first responders that wanted the vaccine and, as of January 4, 2021, all doses have been administered. This particular vaccine is administered as a 2-dose series, one month apart, into the muscle. Those that received the initial dose will return in a month to receive their second dose.
“Cuero Health has exhausted their initial supply of the Moderna vaccines that were allocated in late December,” said Lynn Falcone, CEO of Cuero Health. “As per the State guidelines, vaccines were given to Tier 1A. We are awaiting our next round of vaccines so that we may begin Tier1B in the public. When these are received, CRH will send out a notice via social media and send a notice to area media. The vaccines will be given in our Outpatient Department,” said Falcone.
Per Falcone, all healthcare workers at the hospital and clinics who wanted the vaccine were vaccinated, along with offering to the local police and sherrif’s offices, local dental and chiropractic offices, Yoakum Hospital staff, and Otto Kaiser Hospital staff per the Tier 1A phase of distribution. The initial 200 doses were administered by January 4, 2021.
“Unfortunately, we do not know when the next allotment will arrive and we are not conducting a waiting list for the general public,” said Falcone. “In order for the public to prepare for the eventual vaccine offering, we want them to know that the vaccines are free; however, there will be a small administration fee charged to your insurance. Medicare, Medicaid, and most commercial plans have no out-of-pocket expense to members for the COVID-19 vaccine and administration fee. If a patient is self-pay, the cost is $48 and that administration fee covers both doses. No one will be turned away due to inability to pay; financial assistance will be available.”
Falcone also shared that due to vaccine packaging, scheduling will take place in groups of 10 so no vaccine is wasted. Patients can expect to register, complete two vaccine forms, receive the vaccine shot and then wait about 15 minutes to verify that the patient does not have any reaction. “Thus far, we have had staff experience injection site tenderness and minor low grade fever,” said Falcone.
Once the new shipment of vaccines arrive, the public will be notified via area media, as well as updates posted to the Cuero Regional Hospital website and social media channels. The vaccines will be offered to the public who fall into the Phase 1B criteria per Texas Health and Human Services:
- People 65 years of age and older Moderna COVID-19 vaccine will be offered to the public, specifically those that fall into Phase 1B for the vaccine allocation, starting January 4, 2021.
- People 16 years of age and older with at least one chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19, such as but not limited to:
- Chronic kidney disease
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies
- Solid organ transplantation
- Obesity and severe obesity (body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or higher)
- Sickle cell disease
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus
Per DSHS, COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Phase 1B Definition Background Mortality and morbidity data collected over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic clearly demonstrates that COVID-19 has the most severe effects on people who are 65 years and older and individuals with comorbidities. Protecting these higher-risk individuals is of the utmost concern in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Texas death certificate data, more than 70 percent of the deaths directly caused by COVID-19 are among people 65 years and older.
“The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine is a great advancement in combating the coronavirus disease,” said Lynn Falcone, CEO of Cuero Health. “We will continue to update the local media, as well as our website and social media channels, as soon as we receive doses of the vaccine for the public.”
According to DSHS, in Texas, Phase 1B of vaccination will focus on people for whom there is strong and consistent evidence that COVID-19 makes them more likely to become very sick or die. Preventing the disease among people who have these risk factors will dramatically reduce the number of Texans who die from the disease and relieve pressure on the healthcare system.
For more information, visit www.CueroRegionalHospital.org and follow Cuero Regional Hospital on Facebook for the latest updates on the vaccine.