Christus Good Shepherd Medical Center has shut down its weekly mass COVID-19 vaccine hub at the Longview Exhibit Center and will transition to offering shots on weekdays at its clinics.
“The initial demand for vaccine was tremendous, and the Longview Exhibit Center centralized location allowed us to quickly serve thousands of people each weekend,” said Todd Hancock, president and CEO of the Christus Good Shepherd Health System. “Now that demand has significantly decreased and vaccine storage requirements have eased, this is the next step in our efforts to further expand access to this life-saving vaccine.”
The COVID-19 vaccine will now be available Monday through Friday at designated Christus Trinity Clinic primary care locations in Longview, Marshall and Kilgore. Walk-in appointments also are available at Christus Trinity Clinic Urgent Care, 2021 W. Loop 281 in Longview.
All patients will receive the Pfizer vaccine, which is available to everyone 12 and older. The vaccine remains free to patients. Those interested in receiving a vaccine may schedule an appointment online at vaccinate.christushealth.org.
In January, Christus Good Shepherd was designated by the state as a vaccine hub. The hub designation came about as a partnership between Christus Good Shepherd, Gregg County and the city of Longview. State Rep. Jay Dean, R-Longview, helped facilitate meetings between local and state officials for the hub designation. Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt pledged that the county would provide funding to sustain the vaccine hub and the city of Longview allowed the use of the Longview Exhibit Building for the mass vaccination clinics.
Since opening Jan. 30, the hub has administered more than 70,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to the community, according to information provided by Christus Good Shepherd. Longview Fire Department personnel in conjunction with Christus employees helped administer the vaccines.
The vaccine hub first administered doses to health care workers, those who are elderly and those with medical conditions. Over time, the hub progressively opened up to include teachers, then to more age brackets and eventually opened to serve everyone in the community. To continue sustaining the hub financially, Eastman Foundation this spring provided a $125,000 contribution.
Hancock said he is grateful to everyone who helped make the mass vaccine hub a success, and he looks forward to Christus continuing to provide vaccines to the community through its Trinity clinics.
“We want to extend our deepest gratitude for all of those who gave up their weekends to make the centralized vaccine hub a resounding success,” Hancock said. “It would not have been possible without the efforts of volunteers, including Longview Fire and Police, City of Longview, Gregg County Sheriff and many other community partners.”