BAYTOWN — (April 1, 2021) — Taking advantage of the state’s decision to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to all Texans age 16 and over, Baytown Mayor Brandon Capetillo received his first dose of the vaccine on March 31.
The Texas Department of State Health Services opened registration for the vaccine to all Texans 16 and older on March 29, while still asking providers to prioritize appointments for people 80 and older. Capetillo said he is happy to do his part to help bring the COVID-19 pandemic to an end.
“The sooner our citizens are vaccinated the quicker we will be able to return to our normal routines,” Capetillo said. “I encourage everyone who can to register to be vaccinated.”
To date, nearly 10 million Texans have received a dose of the vaccine since it was made available in December 2020. Houston Methodist serves as a state-designated vaccine hub and has administered over 483,210 vaccines. Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital’s vaccine center has administered thousands of doses to Baytown area residents.
“Houston Methodist Baytown is a great resource for the COVID-19 vaccine. The process is well coordinated, making the experience efficient,” Capetillo said.
While Texas Governor Greg Abbott lifted the statewide mask mandate and allowed businesses to operate at 100% on March 10, Dr. Shawn Tittle, Houston Methodist Baytown chief medical officer/chief quality officer, said even though the number of people vaccinated has risen and infections and hospitalizations continue to drop across the state, area residents must not let their guard down too soon.
“As emerging virus variants threaten another potential spike in cases, we must continue to practice the virus mitigation practices—wearing masks, practicing social distancing, avoiding large crowds and practicing proper hand hygiene—that we know are effective in preventing the spread,” Tittle said.
Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital is leading the fight against COVID19 in the Baytown area, not only as a vaccine hub, but also in providing cutting edge treatments to combat the disease.
Following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval in December of an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for a therapy consisting of monoclonal antibody—referred to as Bamlanivimab—in treating the coronavirus, the hospital opened a special infusion clinic dedicated to providing the intravenous therapy for adults who are at high risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms. The experimental therapy has shown to be effective in preventing mild COVID-19 infections from getting worse and helps reduce hospitalizations by interfering with the ability of the virus to infect the patient’s cells.
Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital is taking every necessary precaution during the coronavirus pandemic to keep you and our staff members safe, including, screening all patients, ensuring only those without COVID-19 symptoms are seen in the office; wearing masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) while providing patient care; reorganizing waiting rooms and check-in lines to ensure social distancing, and implementing additional sanitation processes to disinfect all equipment and surfaces.
Houston Methodist provides a wealth of coronavirus and COVID-19 vaccine information at houstonmethodist.org/coronavirus/coronavirusresources.