Mass vaccination practice run successfulRatliff Stadium effort begins Sunday

About 200 Odessa healthcare officials, law enforcement and community volunteers cheered Friday’s successful practice run of a mass COVID-19 vaccination process which will kick-off at 9 a.m. Sunday at Ratliff Stadium.
The practice run did expose a few minor glitches – mostly Internet and traffic route-related, but were quickly straightened out, Trevor Tankersley, Medical Center Health System’s director of public relations said.
“That’s exactly why we do dry runs, so that we can identify any problems in advance,” Tankersley said. “Most of the problems have already been corrected, and we’re ready for Sunday.”
Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination shots will be given from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, Medical Center Hospital President and CEO Russell Tippin said. After that, vaccinations will be available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
Health officials are asking people who are healthy to wait a couple days before seeking a vaccination. The goal is to first offer shots to front line healthcare workers and people most at-risk, including the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions, like diabetes.
But no one will be turned away if they show up for a shot, Tippin said.
MCH received their first weekly shipment of 3,900 doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Thursday, and will continue to receive shipments until everyone in the Odessa area have had an opportunity to be vaccinated, Tippin said. Those who receive the Pfizer vaccine will be scheduled to return in about a month to receive a second shot, which is needed to acquire immunity to the coronavirus.
MCH Chief Nursing Officer Christin Abbott-Timmons said beginning Sunday, the goal is to vaccinate 1,000 to 1,200 people per day, but those numbers are not set-in stone. The process will go faster if people first pre-register their information online at http://secure.echd.org/qdregvax/default. aspx. The pre-registration link is not for setting up an appointment or a specific date and time to receive the vaccination, Timmons said. It’s a pre-registration tool that will speed up the process of administering the vaccine.
People who don’t pre-register prior to arriving at the stadium, will be rerouted to a waiting area where they will have to register before they can proceed to the vaccination area, Abbott-Timmons said.
Everyone seeking a vaccine should bring a valid driver’s license or other photo identification so that workers can quickly determine if someone has already pre-registered.
Officials are also asking those who are seeking a vaccination to wear a short sleeve shirt or clothes that are easy to access the upper arm.
City Manager Michael Marrero said the mass vaccination effort is a collaboration between many entities, including MCH and Odessa Regional Medical Center staff, community volunteers, city police, fire fighters and EMT’s who will be administering most of the vaccines.
“Kudos to everyone involved – from a very supportive city council that provided funding for COVID testing, funds to help purchase laptops for students and for creating a small businesses assistance program,” Marrero said. “I think every city department has been involved in some way, including EMT’s, law enforcement and the parks department.
“I couldn’t be prouder of our staff.”
Community volunteers are still needed for a variety of tasks, including helping with traffic control, providing water and food to healthcare staff. For more information on volunteering send an email to volunteers@odessa-tx.gov.