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Bell County COVID-19 vaccination rates lag behind state, regional rates

Bell County’s COVID-19 vaccination rates lag behind state and regional rates, not because of a...
Bell County’s COVID-19 vaccination rates lag behind state and regional rates, not because of a lack of doses, but because of what appears to be a lack of interest.(Megan Vanselow)
Published: Apr. 20, 2021 at 7:36 PM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) – Bell County’s COVID-19 vaccination rates lag behind state and regional rates, not because of a lack of doses, but because of what appears to be a lack of interest.

Just more than 26% of Bell County residents 16 and older have gotten a first dose and just more than 17% are fully vaccinated.

In the 16 Central Texas counties KWTX is tracking, more than 31% have receive a first dose and more than 29% are fully vaccinated, and statewide more than 45% have received one dose and more than 29% are fully vaccinated.

“There are still appointments available and we’re finding that across the board as we are opening appointments and not all of them are getting filled,” Bell County spokesman James Stafford said Tuesday.

“We are trying to figure out if we’ve reached the peak of demand or if it’s an issue of people getting access to it, so we are trying to reach those people as well.”

He says the county is requesting fewer doses from the state as interest declines, but so far, he says no doses have gone to waste.

“We haven’t had any doses expire, but as we go on and more and more doses become available, and the patient population starts to reduce, we do see that as a challenge we’ll have to work through,” Grove said.

The company Curative just opened a new vaccine site in Killeen at Leo Buckley Stadium and will also offer doses at Vista Church in Temple.

Tuesday evening, more than 800 appointments were available on Wednesday and Thursday.

“We have plenty of doses we are just looking for the right people to administer them to,” said David Grove, state operations lead for Curative.

The Biotech company focused initially on COVID-19 testing, but switched to vaccination after the first vaccines were approved.

Curative operates some sites in larger cities, but its primary focus is getting vaccines to communities with restricted access.

Bell County commissioners reached a deal with the company last month.

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