Schleicher County Medical Center received 200 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine this week and plans to administer them on Saturday at the Schleicher County Civic Center.

Hospital Administrator Paul Burke explains that the doses will be administered by appointment only to individuals on the waiting list. Priority will be given to those in categories 1A and 1B, as determined by the Centers for Disease Control and the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Category 1A includes front line health care workers and first responders. Category 1B includes individuals over the age of 65 and others over the age of 16 with co-morbidities. A co-morbidity is defined as the simultaneous presence of two chronic diseases such as diabetes or heart disease.

Burke said on Tuesday that there were more than 300 people on the hospital’s waiting list. Those who qualify to receive the vaccine will be contacted this week to set up an appointment.

Due to the extreme cold that is forecast for Saturday, the vaccine will be administered in the Civic Center’s meeting room with those who receive it being sent into the building’s large room for a 15-minute observation period before they are released to go home.

Burke further explained that the hospital will be ordering another 200 doses of the vaccine and hopes the state will release it soon so that another vaccination clinic can be scheduled.

Meanwhile, the number of new COVID-19 cases, as well as hospitalizations, has plummeted across the nation. Many experts are crediting the decline to the recent release of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, as well as a level of herd immunity that may have developed since the virus began spreading here almost a year ago.

The Texas Department of State Health Services reported 20 active cases in Schleicher County on Tuesday (See graphic above). Meanwhile, Schleicher County ISD reported a total of four active cases Tuesday on its website at www.scisd.net. There have been a total of 26 cases since the virus was first detected on campus on October 9, 2020.