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Odessa looking into bringing mass vaccine clinic

While it won't be as big as the vaccine clinic at Ratliff Stadium, Odessa will be offering 6,000 to 10,000 shots starting Sept. 21 should city council give approval.

ODESSA, Texas — Odessa city council has to consider a lot of things during a work session. One of the biggest items to consider during the most recent work session was whether or not to grant approval for a mass vaccine clinic at UTPB. Currently, no decision has been made, but plans are already in place.

More people are trying to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and the city's incident command team is looking to accommodate that need by offering between 6,000 and 10,000 shots of Pfizer and Moderna.

Part of the reason is because the hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID patients.

"They are overwhelmed taking care of the COVID patients that are critically sick. So not only that, there are clinics that are getting overwhelmed with testing and vaccinations so we are trying to do our part in the community with the city of Odessa, Ector County Health Department, and UTPB to help the hospitals with the vaccinations," Rodd Huber, OFR Assistant Fire Chief over EMS, said.

As the Delta variant continues to have a tight grip on our community and hospitals, more people are looking to get vaccinated.

"Since this Delta variant has gotten so deadly and so many of our family and friends are hospitalized or have passed away, they’ve ran out of vaccinations. So we have seen a big increase in people that really didn’t want the vaccination the first time, and they’re getting at this time," Huber said.

Once approved and the clinic is up and running on September 21, the vaccines will be available to everyone. People can come for a first or second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, and anyone with a doctor's note can receive the third dose or booster shot.

"It’s going to be first come first serve. We’re not gonna turn anybody away. Now if you’re telling us that it is that additional shot, we do need a doctor's note to do that at this time," Huber said.

If the clinic is successful, Huber said that more clinics could be coming.

"Once we get towards the middle of October and end of October, we will definitely forecast that and see how our hospitalizations are, our surges and the numbers. We'll make the decision at that time, but we’re very willing and open to doing more mass vaccination clinics if the demand is there and the numbers are there," Huber said.

Once the clinic is officially approved, it will run from Tuesdays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for 20 days of operation. 500 shots will be given out per day, meaning the clinic could shut down early if enough people show up each day.