Lubbock Health Department partnering with United Family to expand vaccination efforts

Updated: Apr. 14, 2021 at 5:16 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The Lubbock Health Department is partnering with The United Family to help deliver vaccine doses to the community, a partnership that has become even more important now that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been put on hold.

“They bring to the table extra vaccine when we need vaccine, and we bring to the table the ability to get it into parts of the community that the Health Department can’t necessarily,” United Clinical Services Manager Crockett Tidwell said. “We add manpower and immunizers to the joint effort to make our community healthy again.”

Tidwell tells KCBD that United and the Lubbock Health Department have had a longstanding relationship doing joint vaccine initiatives. With the early scarcity of COVID-19 vaccines, that established relationship has proven to be very beneficial.

“It’s been an absolute vital part of our operation, our initiative to get shots in arms,” Tidwell said. “Without the Lubbock Health Department, we wouldn’t have had much vaccine. We were getting very small allotments for a long time.”

An inventory document provided to KCBD by the City of Lubbock shows the Health Department has frequently transferred vaccine doses with other providers. The most recent was 1,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson to United. With the recent pause in administration of the J&J vaccine, it then provided Moderna doses for United’s April 15 clinic at the United Supermarkets Arena.

“We were caught off guard moving more toward Johnson & Johnson,” Tidwell said. “It’s better accepted because of the one dose, so it was a good choice for Tech. The City really stepped up and helped us keep those commitments to the people that we already had scheduled to come. It’ll be seamless for people.”

The City’s inventory shows that it had nearly 6,700 doses of the J&J vaccine when federal agencies issued the pause.

The document shows out of the hundreds of thousands of doses the Health Department has handled, only about 20 have been wasted.

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