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State Health Officials Return To The Big Bend This Week To Give Second Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine

At a vaccination event in Marfa, hundreds of residents received their first coronavirus vaccine. And while it was a big step in the regional vaccine rollout, dozens of residents who had made appointments were not vaccinated. (Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

For residents in the Big Bend area who received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in Marfa on March 12, there is a new date for them to receive their second shot. 

By Carlos Morales

As of Monday, nearly 43% of residents in Presidio County ages 18 and older are now fully vaccinated, according to the latest state data. That number will grow in the coming days as more second doses of the vaccine are set to be administered through healthcare providers, pharmacies and pop-up clinics in the region—including one in Marfa, which was rescheduled to now take place this week. 

Originally set for April 6, second doses will now be administered in Marfa on March 31.

It isn't immediately clear why the date was moved up, but in a press release Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara said the state will arrive in Far West Texas Wednesday morning to vaccinate agricultural workers at Village Farms before moving onto Marfa.

A team with the Department of State Health Services is currently reaching out to the 167 Big Bend residents who received their first dose of the vaccine at the Marfa Visitor Center on March 12 who will now receive their second shots this Wednesday.

The changed date means second doses are being administered earlier than the 21-day waiting period often mentioned as the timeframe for booster shots, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says second shots can be given as early as 17 days after the first.

Elsewhere in the Big Bend region this week, those who received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Terlingua on March 3 should return to the Red Patillo Community Center on Thursday April 1 for their second dose.

Carlos Morales is Marfa Public Radio's News Director.