If you did not read last week’s column, I am working on an idea to develop a drive-thru regional vaccination site for Atascosa County. It would take place at the Strawberry Festival Grounds who have been most gracious to offer their property. The response has been so gratifying. The Coastal Bend Nursing program called and offered their students to help with the project. Volunteer Fire Departments have indicated a desire to help. Most likely when we get closer, we can get the Texas Department of Emergency Management to help with mobilizing help from the emergency division of the Texas National Guard. The idea continues to grow and build support. I hope that we can start the project with the goal of running as long as it takes to get people immunized and this COVID stopped. Please just be aware that what we are talking about would be possibly, hopefully by mid- February.
This will give us time to get the necessary equipment (i.e. Digital Data Logger, software for recording and refrigerator storage). It will be available to all citizens on a first come, first served basis. I am hopeful the Federal Government will come through with some more COVID assistance which will help with this. People need the monetary assistance, no doubt. But I think the government should have a larger role in rolling out the vaccination effort. I am sure that if the county has the vaccine and some assistance we can get it done!
As I said last week, I feel we are moving way too slow for the immunization program. I am hoping that the new vaccine from Johnson & Johnson breaks loose around the first of February and we can see supplies rolling in so we can get started.
The only real issue will be getting the vaccine. To repeat: we are seeing recurrences of the virus COVID 19 in several instances. That becomes alarming when it indicates we cannot depend on herd immunity to be an end. It will certainly be a factor, but no one knows how much. We MUST end this mess and the vaccine is the only way.
If you need to apply for the new business assistance money from the new Congressional COVID funds go to sba.gov/document/ sba-form-2483-pppfirst draw-borrower-application form.
Be safe and hang on. The end of COVID is coming, but we need your help. Thanks for listening.
BOB HURLEY is the Atascosa County Judge. You may email him at countyjudge@ atascosacounty.texas.gov.