During a scheduled press conference on Wednesday, January 6th, 2021, City of Lubbock officials discussed questions surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine and their plans of distribution.

Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope said that by late February, he hopes the city will be able to open up vaccination appointments to the general public. Texas Tech Chancellor Ted Mitchell also alluded to the idea that students may be able to start receiving the vaccine by March. For now, vaccinations are limited to healthcare workers, those 65 and older, and those with a qualifying health condition.

Mayor Pope said that hopefully by Monday, January 11th, the City of Lubbock Health Department can announce plans for a daily vaccination clinic for those that fall into Phase 1A and Phase 1B, but that depends on just how much of the vaccine Lubbock is expected to receive over the coming weeks.

Public Health Authority Dr. Ron Cook also spoke at the press conference in regards to rumors surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Cook tried to dispel the idea that a vaccine can infect you with the virus by explaining that the dose only contains enough of the virus to have your immune system recognize it and build a defense against it.

"It doesn't have enough of the virus particles, it's just a little segment of messenger RNA," Dr. Cook said.

Another concern about the vaccine is that it isn't necessary for those who have already recovered. Dr. Cook argued that natural immunity will eventually fade, and a vaccine can only help to maximize your chance of not getting the virus again.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, January 6th, 285 new cases of COVID-19 were reported by the City of Lubbock, in addition to 169 new recoveries and 4 more fatalities, which brings the death count to 588. Some 312 people remain hospitalized with the virus, and the county's COVID-19 hospitalization percentage is still 20 percent.

The Lubbock Health Department has already filled all of their appointment slots for COVID-19 vaccinations on Thursday, January 7th.

In a press release, the department tells residents to expect more vaccine appointments available by Monday, January 11th. Those who have already received their first dose of the vaccine will be scheduled to receive their 2nd and final dose sometime during the week of January 25th.

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