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Jacque Ahola, RN of the Dallam-Hartley Counties Hospital District briefs Moore County Judge Rowdy Rhoades and officials of the MCHD on the shipment of COVID vaccine that will arrive in Moore County next week.  Left to right:  Rhoads, Ahola, Yessenia Longoria and Connie Flores of the MCHD.

Moore County and the Moore County Hospital District (MCHD) will be holding COVID vaccination clinics in the Moore County Community building on South Maddox next week on the 10th, 11th, and 13th for people over 65 years of age, emergency workers who did not receive a vaccination in the first round, and people either 16 or 18 and older, depending on which vaccine is delivered, with qualifying chronic health conditions.  According to Jacque Ahola, RN of the Dallam-Hartley Counties Hospital District, who was involved in ordering more than 2000 doses of vaccine for Moore County, Dallam County officials do not know yet whether Moore County will receive the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.  If the vaccine is the Moderna, those persons 18 and over with chronic health conditions will be eligible to receive a vaccination at the clinic.  In the case of the Pfizer vaccine, the cutoff age drops to 16 and older.  According to Connie Flores of the MCHD, people will be able to find out which vaccine Moore County will receive from the MCHD Facebook page, whenever that information becomes available.

The clinics will take place from 12:00 noon until 8:00 pm on the 10th and from 8:00 am until 7:00 pm on the 11th and 13th.  The first two hours of each day will be reserved for those 65 and older.  The clinics are first come, first served.  No prior online registration is required.  People will be vaccinated as long as supplies of vaccine hold out.  No eligible person will be turned away, even people who are not Moore County residents.  The vaccinations are free of charge.

There will be a grand jury proceeding in the community building Wednesday morning so "no one needs to show up early, " said Yessenia Longoria, RN of the MCHD.  "There will be a lot of cars in the parking lot, but it will be another event."

Longoria recommends that people go on to the Centers for Disease Control website to find out about potential side effects.  Serious side effects from both vaccines have been extremely rare around the world.  The MCHD will have emergency medical personnel on scene at the clinic to deal with any serious reaction.

Rhoades said Moore County officials have been unsuccessfully trying to obtain vaccine for some time.  "Without Dallam County reaching out, we would still be sitting here," he said.

"We are a hub (for vaccine distribution) here in the Panhandle," said Ahola.  "Our city (and county) officials reached out to each other, and we are making it happen."

Because  the COVID hospitalization rate for Trauma Service Area A, which includes Moore County, has been below 15 percent for seven straight days, Moore County Judge Rowdy Rhoades was able to sign an order Wednesday allowing bars in Moore County to open for in-person business and restaurants and other businesses to increase from 50 percent to 75 percent of capacity.  When Governor Greg Abbott issued his order last September allowing bars to reopen and businesses to increase to 75 percent capacity, he made as a condition that COVID patients could not make up more than 15 percent of the hospital capacity of the Trauma Service Area to which a county belonged for seven straight days.  Moore County was forced to shut down bars and curtail businesses shortly after the governor issued his order as the fall COVID surge hit the Panhandle. 

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