EL PASO, Texas — University Medical Center said Friday it had just received 5,000 new doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine that it planned to distribute soon at a new mega-site being set up at the El Paso County Coliseum.
“We received 5,000 doses, they have arrived. We will again be opening registration,” said UMC spokesman Ryan Mielke.
Registration opened at noon Friday at UMCelpaso.org for those in state vaccination categories 1A and 1B, which includes healthcare workers, first-responders, anyone 65 and older or others with certain underlying health conditions.
But Mielke said all online appointments were filled within 12 minutes and website registration was now closed. There will be no walk-up vaccinations at the coliseum, he added.
The new doses replace 5,000 that UMC administered in tents set up at the hospital earlier this week.
El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego, speaking at a news conference Thursday evening, first referenced the plans for the coliseum distribution once additional vaccine supplies were obtained.
“That transition will be very important. The message that the mayor (Oscar Leeser) and I have gotten is that the faster we are able to move things, and the better and more efficient that we are — the more likely that we are going to get more of the vaccine,” Samaniego told reporters.
UMC’s 5,000 added doses comes on the heels of a 5,000 dose shipment that the El Paso health department received on Thursday. Like UMC, the city of El Paso had exhausted its prior 5,000 vaccinations this week with distribution at a mega-site it had set up near the airport.
“We’re recognized as one of the best counties here in Texas that is moving ahead in the distribution that is necessary,” Samaniego said. “We’re hopeful that things are going to move faster.”