TEMPLE, TX — One month ago, the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine was approved for emergency use.
That’s when many of us began asking questions: When can I get it? How can I get it? And where can I get it?
As more vaccines become available, those questions are finally getting some answers.
It’s no secret the road to getting COVID-19 vaccines is a rocky one, with delayed distribution countrywide and fewer shots than anticipated, many are wondering when it will be their turn to get vaccinated.
After nearly 20 days of waiting for more COVID-19 vaccines, McLennan County health officials were worried the inclement weather was going to make that number even higher.
“Our backup plan was 'where is it DSHS? We're so close to Austin it's like we’ll come get it,'” Kelly Craine, the communications lead for the Waco, McLennan County Public Health District joked. “But they pulled through and got it to us before the weather did.”
The county is one of 28 statewide distribution hubs, a new effort Governor Greg Abbott hopes will help get needles in Texan's arms faster.
Friday marked the start of that journey for McLennan County as it received a special package in the mail.
“They sent us 1500 doses and said don’t hold it for a special occasion, get it out, as soon as possible,” Craine said, recalling the conversation with the State Health Department.
Their neighbors to the south are getting in on the action as well, with Bell County receiving word it was a hub location too.
“Medical leaders throughout our community have been planning and hoping and in anticipation of having a vaccine to distribute,” Bell County Spokesperson James Stafford said. “We’re very excited to be receiving 3,900 doses of that Pfizer vaccine.”
For those wanting it, it looks like you’ll have to join a line of a few thousand others, all eligible in either phase 1A or phase 1B in both counties.
“It will not be a walk in service to get a vaccine," Stafford said, referring to the two Bell County vaccine centers not yet announced. “You’ll need to get a vaccine for one of those two vaccine centers and we’ll be reaching out to people who are on that wait list who are eligible to receive a vaccine right now.”
The same goes for the vaccine clinic on Tuesday in Waco.
While you may be frustrated about the delays, officials are hopeful this trend will continue.
“At this point, our expectations is that the vaccine will be flowing, that we’ll be getting shipments, large shipments once a week,” Craine said with a smile.
Gov. Abbott on Monday said the state is slated to receive over 300,000 of the first dose of the vaccine and between 300,000 and 500,000 of the second.
For now, officials advise checking with your local health departments website for updates on vaccine distribution.