Booster clinics not stopping for weather

About 2,000 people have received their second Pfizer vaccine shot this week despite cold, wintry conditions, Medical Center Health System officials announced during a virtual press conference Tuesday.
MCH Chief Nursing Officer Christin Abbott-Timmons said the process is going so well that anyone already scheduled for a booster shot later this week is invited to walk-in early to get their second shot at one of the MCH clinics.
“We’re accepting walk-ins from anyone who was scheduled from Feb. 14 to Feb. 21,” Abbott-Timmons said. “The process has been going very well. Boosters were given to 1,350 on Monday and 450 (as of early Tuesday afternoon).”
Both MCH and Odessa Regional Medical Center officials reported that the weather has been a challenge at both facilities, but the problems have not affected services.
MCH did experience a power outage this week, but a backup generator automatically kicked in, keeping the Pfizer vaccines stored in freezers safe, MCH President and CEO Russell Tippin said.
ORMC has experienced minor problems, such as frozen water pipes, but did not affect services to patients, ORMC Chief Medical Officer Dr. Rohith Saravanan said.
ORMC’s portal, used to schedule and remind people of their second booster shot appointments did experience a computer glitch, mistakenly directing people to show up for their second booster shots Monday and Tuesday even though the hospital has not yet received its booster shipment for this week.
“Several people showed up expecting the booster,” Saravanan said. “We’re very sorry. We don’t have any second doses right now.”
Saravanan said the hospital, which did not receive a shipment last week either, is still waiting for the state to announce when ORMC will receive its 500 requested vaccine doses.
Due to hazardous weather conditions, MCH has not yet received this week’s shipment of the Pfizer vaccine, Tippin said. Mass vaccinations previously scheduled for Wednesday through Friday at Ratliff Stadium have been cancelled. The next scheduled event at Ratliff is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
“The weather is slowing (shipments) down,” Tippin said. “The vaccine problem now, is it’s not here.”
MCH officials reported that they were housing 54 COVID-19 patients, 21 in critical care and 18 on ventilators. ORMC reported 12 patients, 6 in critical care and 3 on ventilators. Scenic Mountain Medical Center reported 2 COVID patients, none on ventilators or in critical condition.