Comal County hosts final mass first-dose clinic as vaccinations for children ages 12-15 begin locally

Members of the Texas National Guard Medical Response Team administered vaccines during the final mass vaccination clinic. (Lauren Canterberry/Community Impact Newspaper)
Members of the Texas National Guard Medical Response Team administered vaccines during the final mass vaccination clinic. (Lauren Canterberry/Community Impact Newspaper)

Members of the Texas National Guard Medical Response Team administered vaccines during the final mass vaccination clinic. (Lauren Canterberry/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Comal County Public Health Department held its final first-dose mass vaccination clinic May 13 at the New Braunfels Civic/Convention Center.

Students from Galen College of Nursing completed their final mass clinic in partnership with the county May 12 and members of the Texas National Guard Medical Response Team administered vaccines May 13.

The final second-dose clinic will be held from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on June 15.

As coronavirus vaccines have become more widely available and appointments more accessible, Comal County will no longer host mass vaccination clinics and offer coronavirus vaccines by appointment.

The CCPHD has so far conducted 25 vaccination clinics that began in January and have administered more than 35,000 first and second doses of the Moderna vaccine, according to the county.

As of May 19, 67,793 Comal County residents have been vaccinated with at least one dose, and 54,497 are fully vaccinated. Comal County providers have administered more than 116,200 doses, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Of those who have received at least one dose of the vaccine, 315 are children ages 12-15.

Following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s authorization for the use of the Pfizer vaccine in children ages 12-15, area providers have begun requesting Pfizer doses from the DSHS.

Dr. Emily Briggs of Briggs Family Medicine coordinated with the Guadalupe Health Network to obtain 60 doses of the vaccine.

“Getting the Pfizer vaccine into our community makes it so that we can vaccinate our younger populations,” Briggs said. “Those are exactly the people that we need to have vaccinated so that we don't continue to spread this virus through our younger community.”

The county has also begun requesting doses of the Pfizer vaccine and will offer the shot to families in addition to other vaccines offered ahead of the beginning of the next school year, according to Cheryl Fraser, director of public health for Comal County.

In Texas, students must be up to date on vaccinations for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, varicella, meningitis and hepatitis A to enroll in public school or have an approved exemption.

Though some vaccines require specific timing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to be given at the same time as other vaccines, Fraser said.

“Our goal is to get all of our kiddos vaccinated before the next school year because then maybe they wouldn't need masks at school,” Briggs said. “That right there is the big push that I have. Emotionally, mentally, socially, our students need to feel comfortable being around each other.”

Regional health care providers such as Texas MedClinic have also requested access to the Pfizer vaccine and are working to expand appointments to accommodate families and those that work full time.

All 19 Texas MedClinic locations in San Antonio, New Braunfels, Bulverde, Austin and Round Rock will have appointments available from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on weekends.

“We're just trying to simply make it available,” said Dr. David Gude, Texas MedClinic chief operating officer and practicing physician. “We hope that our online registration system combined with multiple locations that cover a broad geographic area along with evening and weekend hours make it easy for people.”

Those interested in receiving a coronavirus vaccine can make an appointment with Comal County by calling 830-221-1150, registering online with Texas MedClinic or contacting a primary care provider.
By Lauren Canterberry
Lauren began covering New Braunfels for Community Impact Newspaper in 2019. Her reporting focuses on education, development, breaking news and community interest stories. Lauren is originally from South Carolina and is a graduate of the University of Georgia.


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