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Midland mass vaccination site expanding to ages 16 and older

Anyone 16 years of age or older is encouraged to register to receive the Pfizer vaccine.

MIDLAND, Texas — No more waiting and no more worry. Midland Health made a big decision to begin vaccinating everyone 18 and older and 16-year-olds with a guardian.

"We've just got to get vaccines out," Russell Meyers, MMH CEO said. "That's the most important priority."

But scheduling each of these vaccines by age groups takes valuable time.

"It's got to be a manageable system," Meyers said. "As we've set this up, we don't have the time or the abundant resources to do that level of vetting the population."

As we all watch scenes like this unfolding across the country, Midland Health administrators say opening the doors to everyone now is best for our community.

"What makes sense in Houston or Austin doesn't necessarily always make sense for Midland, and so we're trying to stay as close to the state's guidelines as we can, while pushing those boundaries a little bit to be sure that we meet the particular needs of our community," Meyers said.

In Midland County, the latest numbers show 66,000 have been vaccinated. In Ector County it's 55,000.

Meyers says they had a lot of early vaccine adopters initially and now they're in the phase of educating more people and trying to convince them to get the vaccine.

Currently, there are about 5,000 people scheduled for appointments Friday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, half of whom are from Midland.

The waiting list sits at about 500 right now.

Midland Health says they expect we're not too far from the state health department following suit to an extent.

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In a news release Wednesday, Midland Health says they are encouraging all residents 16 years of age or older to sign up for a vaccination time slot. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. 

Midland Health has a surplus of the Pfizer vaccine and the demand from the current phases is waning.

In the release, Midland Health said it is "extremely important that we get vaccines in arms to achieve our ultimate goal of herd immunity."

You can register for the vaccine online here, or by calling 432-221-4VAX.