EL PASO, Texas -- El Paso was picked by the state of Texas to be a mega-vaccination hub and the community's emergency management coordinator is calling the initial launch "successful."
El Paso Assistant Fire Chief Jorge Rodriguez, who also serves of the coordinator of city-county emergency management operations, updated El Paso County Commissioners on the vaccination efforts at a meeting Monday.
Rodriguez said 1,300 people were vaccinated Sunday at a mega-site in El Paso. He expects 1,500 more people to be vaccinated in the coming days.
So far, El Paso has received 55,00 vaccines, with 33,160 people having received their first dose and 4,996 having been fully vaccinated. There are currently 82,000 people registered to receive the vaccine through epstrong.org.
University Medical Center received 5,000 of the vaccines sent by the state, the city received the other 5,000.
The hospital has also been chosen as a mega-vaccination site and is currently working on a plan to roll out those vaccinations, UMC spokesman Ryan Mielke said. As ABC-7 reported Sunday, the hospital opened up online registration for the 5,000 vaccines and matched all of them with recipients within three hours, so the registration has closed
"We already began vaccinating some of those 5,000 (people)," Mielke told ABC-7 via text.
County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said UMC started their vaccination effort at the hospital, but will soon be moving it to the El Paso County Coliseum.
Commissioner David Stout, also on the Covid-19 Task Force for the county, recommended opening four to five mega-sites to get vaccines distributed even quicker. He suggested using Cares Act funding for such an effort.
UTEP has also just been approved as a vaccine provider and Stout indicated university President Heather Wilson is ready to help with the vaccination by having UTEP become a mega-site.