Texas Emergency Hospital in Cleveland selected as COVID vaccine hub

Vaccines for COVID-19 are slowly trickling into Liberty County. Brookshire Brother pharmacies, Health Center of Southeast Texas and Liberty-Dayton Regional Medical Center have already received shipments of vaccines.

With the demand greater than the supply, the Health Center of Southeast Texas in Cleveland distributed their supply within a few short days, though more shipments are expected. At Liberty-Dayton Regional Medical Center, the first round vaccines was distributed faster than a press release sent out by the hospital announcing the vaccines could be posted.

Now Texas Emergency Hospital in Cleveland is starting to receive shipments and has been selected as a vaccination hub by the Texas Department of State Health Services. The first shipments of vaccines are expected to arrive at the hospital on Thursday, Jan. 21.

Currently in Texas, as there is a limited supply, the rollout for the vaccines is being prioritized in two phases. Phase 1A is for frontline healthcare workers, residents at long-term care facilities, home health workers, pharmacies, last responders and school nurses. Phase 1B is for persons 65 and older, or 16 and older with at least one chronic medical condition, including pregnancy. Other chronic conditions for people 16 and older would include cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, heart conditions, solid organ transplantation, obesity, sickle cell disease and Type 2 diabetes.

Patti Foster, the COO of Texas Emergency Hospital, is thrilled that the first vaccines are beginning to arrive.

“We have tried since October to bring the vaccines to our healthcare workers in the area. Our staff is not vaccinated. They are our frontline workers who are still dealing with patients, some with COVID-19,” Foster said. “I finally made a call last week to State Rep. Ernest Bailes and then spoke to Will Carter with Congress Babin’s office. They were so helpful. We received a notice shortly afterward that we will be receiving vaccines. A couple of days later, I received an invitation to fill out a survey to become a vaccine hub. We were approved on Sunday afternoon.”

Being a vaccine hub puts Texas Emergency Hospital in a different classification by the state, Foster said.

“We are being allotted a certain amount of vaccines. Those allotments do not come in the number promised a lot of times, so we aren’t really saying how many we will have until the shipment arrives,” she said.

The hospital was told to expect less than 1,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine with the actual number to arrive being closer to 700-800 vaccines.

“That’s our hope but we still do not know until it arrives,” Foster said. “In the meantime, we are practicing and getting ready for the rollout.”

Part of the hospital’s preparations were setting up a call center where qualifying individuals could schedule a vaccination appointment and establish an area near the hospital’s helicopter landing zone for a drive-through shot clinic.

“We will be doing a dry run first with staff to see how long it takes to get people’s information in the system. We are asking for people’s patience as they come for their vaccines. We are having to train our staff on administering these vaccines,” Foster said.

Texas Emergency Hospital’s plan is to schedule five people every 15 minutes between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6:45 p.m. Monday through Friday. People receiving COVID-19 vaccinations are required to bring their completed paperwork or they will be turned away, and they must arrive prior to their appointment time.

Once the shots are administered, they will be required to remain on site for 15-30 minutes for a medical assessment to ensure they are not having an adverse reaction to the vaccine.

“This is a mandatory time period. We will have an ambulance standing by if someone has an adverse reaction,” Foster said.

The consent forms required to receive the vaccine ask for basic information, such as name, date of birth, address, mother’s first name and phone number. The vaccine will be provided for free.

The consent forms are posted to the Texas Emergency Hospital, https://www.emergencyhospitals.care/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Immunization-Registry-CDC-Prevaccination-Checklist.pdf, and are linked in this article by clicking the download or print buttons here:

To help people without access to a printer, Texas Emergency Hospital’s Jeremy Allen has arranged for three public buildings in Cleveland – Austin Memorial Library, Cleveland Senior Citizens Center and the City of Cleveland – to serve as packet pickup sites.

“We’re even asking the churches to help out. This is a community thing,” Allen said.

To schedule an appointment for the Pfizer vaccination, please call 281-806-7370 or 281-806-7380. The call center will be open Thursday, Jan. 21, and Friday, Jan. 22, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

17 COMMENTS

  1. Did anyone get an appointment? After getting in line on the phone twice, they hung up just before it was my time to talk to a representative.

  2. I stayed steady on the phone for two hours on Thursday. I got disconnected more times than I would like to remember, going back and fourth with the two contact phone numbers. Finally, got through and spoke to the most helpful lady. She set up my husband’s appointment and mine at the same time for Friday. We arrived an hour early and was allowed in within a few minutes.
    Patty Foster was there checking our paperwork. I cannot say enough about now nice, helpful and professional everyone was to us. They made our experience very easy in getting our first Covid Vaccine.
    Thanks so very much!

  3. Like the aforementioned comments, it took me and my husband dialing for two, frustrating days to finally connect to an operator. This lady was wonderful, cheery natured and very helpful. When we finally were given an appointment for a specific day and time, I felt that I had just won the lottery.

  4. My husband and I are listed as 1b but cant seem to get appointment . My doctor said he can give a letter to vouch that we are. So how can I get on a list anywhere?

  5. I can understand creating a lineup of callers, but to wait many times from caller #20 or more to caller #3 and get hung up on every time is very frustrating and seems to be unprofessional. Perhaps, they need more training.

  6. To save people some time: they currently are not taking a waitlist for those not residing in Phase 1a/1b because there is no online system like in other Texas counties like Tarrant County and several of the ones near Dallas. It might be worth looking at other counties that have online registration and making the drive. I am currently researching which counties in the Houston area allow online registration. I will report back with my findings.

  7. The call center is overloaded, but called for about two hours on and off, and finally got through to a live person, who scheduled my mother’s vaccine for two days later. It is worth the time to keep calling, so far everyone I have referred has received and appointment, and they schedule your second appointment when you go for the first shot. Very pleasant staff and the day of was 35 min from arrival to leaving!!!!

  8. I have called over 800 times!! If I do get through get hung up on after waiting 4 min! This phone system is ridiculous!

  9. Keep trying I called 10 or more times today and finally got through. My first appointment is tomorrow!

  10. My second appointment was scheduled when I called and got the first appointment. The date was scheduled.

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