COVID-19 vaccine availability expands in Amarillo; enters Phase 1B

Coronavirus

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The City of Amarillo extended its COVID-19 vaccine availability Wednesday.

The vaccine will now be available to those meeting criteria defined under the State of Texas Phase 1B COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation initiative.

A walk-in clinic has been set up at the Amarillo Civic Center North Exhibit Hall, Entrance 3.

“Right now, our plan is to be able to provide vaccines at the Civic Center, and to do that at a central location so that we can be a central location for, you know, everyone here in our community, Amarillo Area Public Health, Casie Stoughton, said.

During Wednesday’s briefing, Stoughton said with the current setup at the Civic Center, they expect they can administer between 1,500 to 2,000 vaccines a day.

“I am very, very excited about that for our citizens,” said Mayor Ginger Nelson, “and now I will say too, I know we’re going to run out of vaccine. That’s expected but that’s a good thing. Because what that means is the system we’ve set up, moves our vaccines out into citizens, and it doesn’t leave them sitting on the shelf.”

Stoughton said a system has been set up to people will know when vaccinations are available or when they are out. That can be found by clicking here.

Screenshot of the alert system. Courtesy: City of Amarillo
Screenshot of the alert system. Courtesy: City of Amarillo

“Citizen should check that website before they head down to the Civic Center, make sure it’s green, they can go in-depth to see if they qualify in category 1A or 1B by touching those hyperlinks and just reading through the qualifications,” said Mayor Nelson.

Another note that was emphasized was the cost of the vaccine: free.

“There’s no cost,” said Stoughton. “We are receiving the vaccine at no costs, and so we’re passing that on, at no cost, to our community.”

Stoughton went on to explain some of the processes when you come to get vaccinated.

“We do have some paperwork that has to be filled out because we have to register those vaccines with the [system]. So we have minimal paperwork, and then we have the best nurses in town that will give you your vaccine, and then you wait for 15 minutes with our amazing fire department.”

Why do people have to wait in the room with the fire department for 15 minutes?

“We just want to make sure that there’s not going to be adverse reactions to the vaccine, and if there are, they usually happen in that first 15 minutes and so we can safely take care of someone. I think we’ve had maybe one situation and the fire department were able to care for that patient,” said Stoughton.

Mayor Nelson asked if patients needed to bring proof they have a medical condition.

Stroughton said, “We don’t require proof, but we do ask that people be honest, that they allow the vaccine to be available to those who truly need it, and that in time, we will have that enough vaccine for everyone who wants it. But right now we’re trying to just save the vaccine for the people who truly need it.”

Below is a list of answers to questions you may have.


Do I Fall Into the 1B Allocation?:

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Texas Phase 1B Vaccine Priorities are:

  • People 65 years of age and older
  • People 16 years of age and older with at least one chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19, such as but not limited to:
    • Cancer
    • Chronic kidney disease
    • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
    • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies
    • Solid-organ transplantation
    • Obesity and severe obesity (body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or higher)
    • Pregnancy
    • Sickle cell disease
    • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

EDITOR’S NOTE: In Wednesday’s briefing, Stoughton said people who are 18 or older who have chronic health care conditions that would put them at higher risk for complications of COVID. She said the reason she said 18 and older is because they have the Moderna vaccine available at the health department and it is licensed for 18 years of age and older.

How and Where Can I Get the Vaccination if I Fall Into 1B:

Immunizations will take place at the walk-in clinic at the Amarillo Civic Center North Exhibit Hall, Entrance 3. Appointments are not available as immunizations are provided on a walk-in basis.

Clinic hours are as follows:

  • Monday – Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Saturdays: 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Sundays: CLOSED

Special Hours

  • Thursday, Dec. 31 – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Friday, Jan. 1 through Sunday, Jan. 3 – CLOSED
  • Monday, Jan. 4 – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 4 – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 6 – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Thursday, Jan. 7 – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Friday, Jan. 8 – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, Jan. 9 – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Sunday, Jan. 10 – CLOSED

Does it Cost?:

The vaccine is free of charge.

What Makes Me Ineligible?:

Patients who are allergic to a component of the vaccine, had any vaccine in the past 14 days, or had a monoclonal infusion the past 90 days are ineligible for the vaccine.

For more information and to verify individual eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine, click here.

Free Rides:

Amarillo City Transit (ACT) is providing free transportation service on all fixed routes to the Amarillo Civic Center. ACT is also offering free shuttle service to and from the Civic Center for individuals who cannot access the fixed-route service. Find route information by clicking here.


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