Dalhart helping bring vaccine to surrounding rural communities

VIDEO: Dalhart helping bring vaccine to surrounding rural communities

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The vaccine clinic in Dalhart has been cancelled for tomorrow and will resume on March 27th.

They say this is because they have already reached those community members who are currently eligible for the vaccine and want it.

However, since they are still a vaccine hub, they continue to receive a weekly allocation of over one thousand doses. So, while they wait for the 1C group to open, they have decided to help vaccinate other parts of the Panhandle who have struggled to receive doses from the state.

They are working with surrounding community county judges and the state health department.

However, the list of people who are helping with this project is long.

As a hub, people in surrounding communities are expected to go to Dalhart for their vaccine. However, when they were struggling to use up all their doses, they began calling surrounding communities like Dumas, Borger, Pampa, and Stratford and offering to take doses to them.

“We take them off the dry ice and she will deliver them to her meeting person or they will meet her halfway but we have been doing what we can just to meet people ,” said Mindy Ellsworth, LVN, Outpatient Clinic Supervisor, Dallam Hartley Counties Hospital District

Ellsworth is talking about registered nurse, Jacque Ahola, who commutes to work and is now adding stops along her route home to ensure other parts of the Panhandle receive vaccine.

“We are really dedicated to being the greater good, not just of our county but of the Panhandle, of Texas, and reaching out to the United States. It is the people’s vaccine, we want them to have it, it is for the greater good,” said Jacque Ahola, RN, Infection Control, Dallam Hartley Counties Hospital District

So far, they have given Stratford almost 400 doses, Borger over one thousand, Pampa over one thousand, and Dumas over four thousand doses.

Yessenia Longoria, who is an RN at Moore County Hospital in Dumas says they requested about three thousand doses from the state back in late December and have yet to receive them.

“To be able to have the large amount through the collaboration just helped us get ahead of the game a little bit or at least be able to catch up because we were a really heavily hit county with COVID,” said Yessenia Longoria, RN, Moore County Hospital and Director of Integrated Care

Longoria adds this collaboration helped the Dumas community be better prepared. They have been able to vaccinate a lot of their community members and their numbers are going down. She says that helps now that restrictions are being lifted.

Dalhart plans to continue this effort in other communities in the Panhandle.

They are sending over one thousand doses to Perryton next week and encourage communities who need doses to reach out to them at 806-244-4571 and ask for Jacque Ahola

Dalhart health officials say they are saving doses for their community members who need the second shot and those individuals will be prioritized when the vaccine hub opens back up on march 27th.

They also note that those who are waiting for the second dose should not worry, as they will not have to restart the process if they miss the 28 day window. The CDC has said you can wait months after your first one to get the second one and still be fine.

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