Rockwall is Ready
Image courtesy of TxDSHS
On Wednesday, Jan. 20, Rockwall County had its regular monthly Emergency Services Corporation board meeting. This group is made up of representatives from the member cities of Rockwall County and governs emergency services within the county. The City of Rockwall has two voting board positions: the mayor and myself.
Naturally, one of the main topics of conversation was the COVID vaccination process and the County's role in it. The County issued a press release yesterday and will publish a growing list of frequently asked questions soon, so I won't go over those here. What I will do is highlight a few key points I took away from last night:
Rockwall is Ready - our fantastic Office of Emergency Management (OEM) team has been working long hours and going above and beyond. If you take nothing else away from this article, please know that as soon as vaccine supply is available to Rockwall County, we are well prepared to rapidly distribute it via multiple sites. These plans have always been in place, and we now have detailed plans and backup plans to backup plans to backup plans. We are ready and need to do a better job of publicly highlighting all the hard work and preparation OEM has accomplished despite changing state guidance. This readiness is important because of the next item.
National Shortage - this can't be explained enough. There are several details around distribution, groupings (1A, 1B, others), and other items. However, none of these matters as much as the lack of supply. Rockwall County is not unique in this regard. The whole nation is waiting on producers to increase vaccine production. As mentioned above, those details are prepared and ready for increased doses in the county.
State Control - Texas Department of State Health Services (TxDSHS) determines how the vaccines are allocated to counties. They use an Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel (EVAP) to make these decisions. Rockwall has minimal influence over this panel but has been using all means possible to increase doses to our county.
In the meantime, here are some helpful reference links:
--Stay tuned to the County COVID information page for updates.
--TxDSHS has a very comprehensive COVID Vaccine information page and FAQ section.
I hope this helps understand where Rockwall County is in terms of vaccination preparedness. We are ready!