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CHRISTUS Health System begins administering vaccines to first responders

A week after the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived in East Texas, CHRISTUS hospitals began administering it to first responders.
Credit: CHRISTUS Health System

LONGVIEW, Texas — The first doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived at hospitals in the CHRISTUS Health System last week. 

Todd Hancock president and CEO said after administering the vaccine to hospital staff went well, they wanted to begin the next phase.

"We work so closely with our first responders, in our hospitals every day, they are truly our partners," Hancock said. "We really welcome this milestone, this transition to vaccinate them because we consider them true heroes."

On Wednesday, first responders were administered the vaccine. Detective Dusty Seay with the Longview Police Department said the process was quick.

"Do a brief bit of paperwork mostly online and then you sit in a chair and get stuck with a needle kind of like the flu shot," explained Seay. "Do your research from a credible source, there's nothing to worry about."

Credit: KYTX
Gregg County Sheriff Maxey Cerliano and Longview Police Detective Dusty Seay posed for a picture after receiving the first dose of the Pfizer Vaccine Wednesday morning.

The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses, the second one is taken 21 days after the first. 

Mark Anderson CHRISTUS chief of emergency medicine explained during a press conference Wednesday morning that the hospital has been assured it will receive the second shipment of doses. But he had a message for East Texans still waiting for their turn.

"It's going to take time for this vaccination process to be able to slow the spread," Anderson said. "So it's really important that we continue all the things we've been doing including social distancing."

CHRISTUS plans to administer the vaccine for free to all "front-line" workers, including retail establishments as well as to those who are vulnerable to the virus in the next few months.