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Galveston County's first COVID-19 vaccine clinic sets high bar for future mass distributions

UTMB and Galveston County Public Health District teamed up to give out more than 800 doses of the vaccine.

LEAGUE CITY, Texas — For the first time in 2021, Galveston County health officials and county leaders pushed out the COVID-19 vaccine to people in need during a mass vaccination hub clinic.

Appointments for Saturday’s event filled up in less than an hour.

For instance, COVID-19 shots going into arms of people who need them is becoming a familiar sight across the Houston region.

Mary Ann Laird received the vaccine during the League City clinic.

"We just ran right through every one of the stations. They were very prompt. Everything was on time. Perfect," she said.

This time UTMB and Galveston County Public Health District teamed up to give out more than 800 doses of the vaccine.

“That is one of the most happy jobs that I’ve had in this whole pandemic is being able to help people get vaccinated and just see their faces when people are ecstatic about getting a vaccine," said Dr. Philip Keiser, health authority for Galveston County.

The county has started to see the total number of cases plateau.

While getting people vaccinated is a positive, Dr. Keiser warned there’s still more than 100 people fighting COVID-19 in Galveston County hospitals right now.

“We’re starting to see with the Christmas and New Year’s surge, we’re seeing some people dying,” Dr. Keiser said. “Our death rate has gone up by over 20 in the past week or so.”

Also, county judge Mark Henry hopes future vaccination clinics will run as smooth as today.

“Our time right now is running about six minutes from the time you get here until the time you get your vaccine," Henry said.

With 6,000 new doses expected next week, residents like Randy Laird recognize there’s a light at the end of tunnel with every shot that goes into someone’s arm.

“We were just excited to be able to get on a list and get it taken care of,” Laird said.