City leaders break down COVID-19 vaccine distribution, second dosage efforts

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — El Paso city council broke down the COVID-19 vaccine distribution and how many El Pasoans have been vaccinated so far.

Some city reps. questioned if the resources for the second dosage is on hand.

It’s been less than a month since El Paso has received the COVID-19 vaccines and many are wondering about the second dosage along with what’s currently available.

“We, on our end on our EP strong website have 47,000, we’re only given 1,000 and that’s for the fire department and 100 for the health department. There’s a lot of frustrated people, and rightfully so,” City Manager Tommy Gonzalez said to city council on Tuesday.

As of the new year, city leaders and health officials say 47,189 El Pasoans are registered to get the COVID vaccine, however about 9,000 are not qualified yet.

“That’s the reason why the number of vaccines needs to increase exponentially because we’re ready. We’re ready to start administering those as soon as we get them,” Gonzalez said.

El Paso health officials said the state distributed 32,675 vaccines to El Paso, but only 16,419 have been administered. The city’s health department director Angela Mora said that number is most likely underreported.

“The state found a glitch in the reporting system last week. The system was not accepting or reporting every single entry that was made. They’re changing to another approach to make sure that they capture the real number of vaccines that have been administered,” Mora shared.

Some council members pushed the question if the second dose of the vaccine is already in store.

“Are we just going through all of our vaccines hoping that in three weeks we’re going to get another dosage or are we holding vaccines in pairs?” City Rep. Peter Svarzbein asked.

“The federal government and the state, they guarantee the second dose because they are set apart by the federal government and the vaccine that we received it specifically says this is not the second dose and we apply 100% of those, we don’t save any,” Mora answered, “It’s guaranteed for us to get the second dose.”

Mora added some providers have already received the second dose.

The city also said its expanding capacity at the city’s call center and adding an online scheduling system in the near future to address first and second dose scheduling as vaccines allocations increase. 

City staff adds a separate website concerning all the FAQ’s about the vaccine and the second dose is in the works.

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