City officials say more COVID-19 vaccine hub locations are needed to meet demands

El Paso News

A nurse prepares a shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Guy’s Hospital in London. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, Pool)

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — El Paso city officials said while the Sun City leads other Texas counties in vaccinations, more hub locations are needed to get more doses in.

As of now, only two hub locations are up-and-running in El Paso. One is the City’s site off of the airport on George Parry Boulevard in East El Paso. The other, the county’s site run by University Medical Center at the El Paso County Coliseum.

Both sites have been administering a weekly allotment of 5,000 vaccines each.

El Paso Fire Chief Mario D’Agostino said state data shows El Paso as a whole has administered 87 percent of vaccines allocated. More than 64,000 people in El Paso have received the first shot and nearly 15,000 people are fully vaccinated.

D’Agostino said El Paso makes up of nearly 4 percent of Texas’ vaccines administered, despite making up slightly less than 3 percent of the state’s population.

However, more than 100,000 people in El Paso are waiting on a call for their vaccine from the City.

“Now that they (Texas) are looking at hub locations, this is why we have to look for larger sites such as the George Parry or what UMC is using at the Coliseum because they want us to distribute in those larger fashions,” D’Agostino said.

He said other providers such as UTEP were possibilities in becoming hub sites for general public who qualify for a vaccine under phases 1A or 1B.

As KTSM 9 News previously reported, Immunize El Paso was also trying to become a hub site by partnering with the Socorro Independent School District to use its police station as a location.

“We’re looking at different models, whether the next one is a drive-thru or a walk-in, those are some of the variables we are looking at,” D’Agostino said. “We’re prepared to ramp up and gear up, so if we do start seeing more vaccines, we can get them administered.”

As far as second doses, the City said it still hasn’t received any of those shipments for its hub location, but are expecting them soon.

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