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Hundreds of area residents line up for second dose of COVID-19 vaccine at drive-thru clinic

Officials hoped to administer 100 vaccinations an hour.
Officials hoped to administer 100 vaccinations an hour.(Megan Vanselow)
Published: Feb. 3, 2021 at 7:28 PM CST
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BELTON, Texas (KWTX) - Hundreds of residents lined up Wednesday outside the Bell County Expo Center to receive their second doses of the Pfizer vaccine, exactly 21 days after getting their first vaccinations at one of the Bell County hub clinics in Temple and Killeen.

Around 375 had gotten the shot by 3 p.m. Wednesday.

The total count for the day wasn’t immediately available.

“Everyone that I talked to very pleased that they’re getting their second dose today pleased with the overall process and happy to see this milestone reached,” County Judge David Blackburn said after walking through the site Wednesday.

The county’s goal at the drive-thru site is to vaccinate 100 people every hour.

Officials say the first day went smoothly, but there were some kinks.

“We need to debrief with our team but I think we will bump the number of people actually giving the injection up a few more personnel after today,” Bell County EMS Medical Director Taylor Ratcliff said.

People waited on average, one hour to get through the whole process, including a 15- to 30-minute wait after the dose was administered to monitor health.

“Our scientists have estimated according to the clinical trial that people may feel a little worse after the second vaccination,” Ratcliff said.

As the day continued wait times lessened and by 5 p.m. there was close to no line for those arriving for appointments.

Because the county is administering the Pfizer vaccine, the appropriate wait time to get the second dose is a minimum of 21 days, although Ratcliff says there’s some wiggle room.

“If you’re only able to get your appointment scheduled on day 23 that’s totally fine. In the clinical trials there were a handful of people who got their second vaccination a number of days after the target goal and still developed excellent immunity,” Ratcliff said.

Ratcliff says it’s still important for residents who are fully vaccinated to remain vigilant, wear masks and social distance.

“People need to remember that it’s not immediate. Your body needs time to build those antibodies inside your body to provide that immunity,” he said.

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