MCH hopes to make large impact in second round of COVID-19 vaccinesHealth officials warn of scams

Early Tuesday afternoon, Medical Center Hospital issued a press release that stated the hospital had administered all of its initial 2,500 COVID-19 vaccinations that it received Dec. 21.
MCH Chief Nursing Officer Christin Timmons elaborated on that during Tuesday’s COVID-19 Zoom news conference and said the hospital vaccinated 2,611 as each Moderna vile contains more vaccine than its minimum allotment.
Timmons also stated that MCH is waiting for its second shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and that the hospital has requested it on a much larger scale.
“We are going to put our order in and it’s really dependent on the state as to when they get those to us,” Timmons said. “… We are hoping that it is quickly. We are turning in all of our reports in regards to how many we can store and how quickly we can get them out. We are hoping that is shortly after we put in our next order.
“We are going to request several thousand, probably upwards of 20 or 30, in order to make a larger impact on the community.”
During the news conference, Odessa Regional Medical Center’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Rohith Saravanan, said the volume of shots the city is looking at is in the many thousands before it can try to immunize everybody, but the volume that is available is in the hundreds.
Saravanan also urged the public to visit the Texas Health and Human Services website to find a list of authorized providers of the COVID-19 vaccination throughout the state.
He reminded the public that the COVID-19 vaccination is free and he hopes the use of the DSHS website can prevent people from being scammed.
“The hospitals that are providing the vaccine are going to bear the cost of storage, administration and all the nursing costs that go along with it, but that’s us; we are doing that for the community,” Saravanan said. “The vaccine itself is no cost to us and no cost to you as well.
“If you see random places saying that they have the coronavirus vaccine, or they are going to charge you money for it, please don’t go over there. Check the DSHS website.”
On Tuesday afternoon, MCH CEO Russell Tippin said the hospital had a total of 4,554 positives with 11,329 negatives and 54 pending. MCH has tested a total of 15,928.
MCH has 68 COVID-19 patients in-house with 19 critical care patients and 14 are on ventilators. There are 25 patients on 4 Central and 24 on 7 Central. The COVID-19 patient list includes three from Midland, two from Crane, one from Andrews, one from Balmorhea, one from Blue Springs, Mo., one from Fort Stockton, one from Kermit, one from McCamey, one from Pecos, one from Presidio, one from Ruidoso, N.M., and one from Sugar Land.
ORMC CEO Stacey Brown detailed that the hospital has tested a total of 9,419 individuals with 1,986 positives and 25 pending. Brown also said there are 26 COVID-19 positive patients in ORMC with 15 of those in the ICU and six on ventilators. She also explained that 10 of 26 patients are from outside Ector County, which includes Littlefield, Eastland, Hobbs, N.M., Alpine, Fort. Stockton, Kermit, Seminole and Big Spring. Brown also said 20 ORMC staff members are in quarantine.
Prior to the news conference, the Odessa City Council met for its first workshop for the New Year the Marriott Hotel & Conference Center where council members discussed voting to end the local mask mandate.
Hospital officials said during the news conference that they believe masks and social distancing have helped reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
“It sounds like we need to have a lot more discussions on that,” Saravanan said. “I hope we will openly engage in good, scientific discussion and we can help educate whoever is willing to listen to scientific reason. We will help educate and give them the guidance that we’ve always given during this pandemic.”