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Preparations underway for American Bank Center’s pilot vaccination site

American Bank Center
Posted at 1:47 PM, Jan 29, 2021

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — With the logistics still being developed, a total of 500 vaccines are expected to be administered at the American Bank Center on Tuesday in a drive-thru pilot event.

Similar to the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds, the clinic is intended for Phase 1A and 1B recipients, which include front-line healthcare workers, residents at long-term care facilities and residents over the age of 65 and people 16 years of age and older with at least one chronic medical condition.

Like the fairgrounds, the Corpus Christi Police Department will assist managing traffic at the American Bank Center.

“This is going to be no different then a multi-event happening Pre-Covid,” said CCPD spokesman Lt. Michael Pena. “We’ll have our traffic division out there, and they’re currently working on the plan in conjunction with the health department and the city to develop a traffic plan to alleviate some of that stress of the traffic that we expect to come in for the vaccination.”

Although he isn’t advising the public to avoid the downtown area come Tuesday, Pena said drivers may want to pick a different direction of travel.

“There’s several ways you can come down Agnes,” he said. “But I really don’t think there’s going to be a major issue at all.”

Pena said he had not been informed that the vaccinations would take place on Feb. 2, but reaffirms the department has been in constant communication with the city, county and health department.

“We’re in constant meetings with them,” Pena said. “It’s a group effort — it’s not just one person running this whole show, everybody has an input, getting suggestions, because obviously we want these to go off as smoothly as possible, so it’s a collaborative effort.”

That announcement was made public during a joint Health District update on Wednesday, Jan 27.

Mayor Paulette Guajardo also announced that they had been working with Driscoll Children’s Hospital to open their own side at the American Bank Center.

"This side is another option for residents to be vaccinated, and more details are to follow as well,” Guajardo said.

But a spokesman for Driscoll Children's Hospital said the facility will not be involved with Tuesday's vaccination event at the American Bank Center.

During that meeting, Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales repeated that the State of Texas has since paused opening any additional hubs.

"It doesn’t make sense in their minds to open more storefronts if there’s not more merchandise," Canales said. "Now, when vaccine supplies increase, they will consider opening additional hubs. This is the message I bring to you from DSHS in the conversations we’ve had this week.

"As we already have a regional hub in Nueces County, they will likely open hubs in world Texas where there is no hub. So this is true for the metropolitan areas of Texas — it’s not for lack of distribution it’s a lack of supply."

Although the number of vaccines are already set, in the event that more vaccines become available, the American Bank Center could become another hub in the future. If that should happen, Pena said they will be ready to adapt.