Preventative Care Health Services — which has clinics in Alpine, Presidio and Marfa — will soon begin holding regular COVID-19 vaccination clinics. This change comes as PCHS gets a stable supply of vaccines after months of struggling to find available doses for Big Bend residents.
By Carlos Morales
Healthcare officials with Preventative Care Health Services will soon begin offering regular, weekly vaccination clinics in Presidio and Alpine, where two of its clinics are located, bringing a boost to vaccination efforts in rural Far West Texas.
In the past, PCHS would hold large-scale clinics, where hundreds of residents could be vaccinated in a single day. But the effort and scope of the events would require the clinics to halt all of its other services for that day and was a strain on the clinic’s limited staff.
Beginning April 19, vaccination events will be in Presidio on Monday and in Alpine on Tuesdays for a few hours those days. The PCHS will offer both first and second doses of the Moderna Vaccine.
“If people want them, they need to call and schedule an appointment,” said Linda Molinar, CEO for PCHS.
Apart from the ongoing vaccination clinics which start later this month, PCHS will hold a mass vaccination event Saturday, April 10 at their Presidio location. Nurses and healthcare officials will administer 500 second doses of the Pfizer vaccine — currently there are no appointments available for this event.
As local access to the vaccine has increased in recent weeks, Presidio County has one of the state’s highest vaccination rates among residents 16 and older — which Molinar says has meant a lot to her team, which has often had to work overtime to provide vaccines to residents and often travels hundreds of miles to pick up vaccines directly from other hospitals in the region.
“It’s been worth working every single weekend, working after hours,” said Molinar. “I think it’s a good feeling.”
Molinar estimates each PCHS clinic currently receives about 100 vaccine doses weekly, and expects that number will increase soon. PCHS officials are currently in the process of registering to receive vaccine doses directly from the federal government.
“People in Presidio are very appreciative,” said Molinar in a phone interview. “They knew that we were going to be the last, at the bottom of the list [for vaccines],” said Molinar.
“Everybody that’s lived in small communities, we know resources are scarce and hard to get. I’m thankful for every agency that gave us vaccines, and I’m thankful for my staff that was willing to travel to pick them up.”
To make a reservation at an upcoming PCHS event call:
Presidio PCHS clinic:
1501 N. Irma St. Presidio, Texas
Alpine PCHS clinic:
1707 N. 4th St., Alpine, Texas
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly suggested the April 10 vaccine event in Presidio was open to the public. All vaccine doses for the clinic being held this weekend have been reserved.