The City of Odessa’s mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic will be discontinued at 1 p.m., Friday after a total of 66 people showed up Monday and Tuesday to be vaccinated, Fire Rescue Assistant Fire Chief Rodd Huber announced Wednesday.
The outdoor clinic, which was held in the University of Texas Permian Basin Park parking lot, was a joint effort by the city, UTPB and the Ector County Health Department.
“We can’t justify the resources being used for this effort,” Hubert said. “We tried; it is what it is.”
Odessa’s Director of Communications Devin Benavides, said 51 people were vaccinated on Tuesday, 15 on Wednesday.
Benavides said if the FDA this week approves booster shots for the general public, the vaccination effort will likely continue.
“Everything is kind of fluid,” Benavides said.
The low turnout so far this week is likely due to several factors, including some residents’ continued reluctance to get vaccinated, Huber said. Residents also have many options where they can get vaccinated, including pharmacies and clinics.
“We were the only game in town,” when the city held a similar event at Ratliff Stadium where thousands of people received their first vaccinations in February and March, Huber said.
Organizers of this latest effort were hopeful that the FDA was going to approve Pfizer booster shots for the general public last week, but that didn’t happen, Huber said.
The clinic effort might resume when the boosters become available to the general public, Huber said. Currently, booster shots are only being made available to those with moderately to several compromised immune systems, or with a doctor’s note.
Huber said he was pleased that most of the 61 people who were vaccinated at the outdoor clinic this week, were seeking their first of two shots.
“That’s 60-plus people who might not have gotten vaccinated if we hadn’t offered the clinic,” Huber said.
Organizers of the outdoor clinic had initially said they planned to keep the clinic operating for 20 days. Their goal was to administer 6,000 to 10,000 doses of vaccines total, with a goal of 500 vaccines per day.
“Our goal was to offer a city service, and we did,” Huber said. “It also helped to develop relationships between the city, UTPB and the county health department – which hasn’t always been there.”
The health department provided the vaccines for the effort and UTPB provided student nurses and medical students to help with the vaccinations. The city provided fire rescue workers to oversee the clinic operations and assist with vaccines.