BELL COUNTY, TX — Frustrations continue to rise as COVID-19 vaccines are few and far between for some folks to find. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick hopes to change, writing a letter to the Expert Vaccination Allocation Panel on Thursday.
Two of those feeling frustrated are Jane Andersen and her 74-year-old husband. They both qualify under Phase 1B of the vaccine rollout plan and certainly did not expect to live out their retirement stuck at home, nervous to expose themselves to COVID-19 before receiving a vaccine.
“I’m sick and tired of being home all the time. I mean, our one outing a week is to Walmart,” the Bell County resident said.
Although they do qualify for the vaccine, they can’t get their hands on one due to long wait lists and a lack of supply.
“As long as we have a limited supply and the demand exceeds that supply, there’s going to be some frustration out there,” Bell County Judge David Blackburn admitted. “That’s just to be expected.”
Supply and demand is just one wrinkle in the vaccine rollout plan health officials and Lt. Gov. Patrick hope the state can iron out.
“We can give people shots, that’s what we're trained to do,” Kelly Craine, the communications lead for the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District said. “It’s very frustrating that we can’t offer it, particular when we know so many people want this.”
Another deficit Lt. Gov. Patrick listed in the letter was a lack of transparency as to when vaccines would be delivered to Texas counties.
“If we got better eyes and better visibility on that vaccine as it transits to us, that will provide some certainty and consistency as we schedule appointments,” Judge Blackburn said.
While we wait for more doses to arrive, there’s just one thing we can all do.
“It’s going to get better,” Andersen said. “We just have to be patient and stay at home.”
Advice Judge Blackburn agreed with.
“This is going to be a long process, so be patient as the system improves,” he added.
Lt. Gov. Patrick said the revision of the rollout plan would allow Texans to have a clearer vision as to when they can expect to receive their vaccine.