CORYELL COUNTY, TX — This week marks the fifth week of COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Texas. Several Central Texas counties, like Bell and McLennan, have received hundreds of additional doses. However, Coryell County has received zero new vaccine shipments for Phase 1A and Phase 1B patients.
“We’re covering the bare minimum,” said Coryell County Judge Roger Miller. “The disproportion of the amounts that are being sent to the larger or more heavily populated areas... basically went to all the big counties and the big cities and nothing for the rural.”
Judge Miller says the county received 500 initial doses for their local hospital and 100 doses each for two H-E-B pharmacies in their county. Others like Bell County, who is in the same Trauma Service Area, have received 3,900 doses of the vaccine this week alone.
“This isn’t a big city problem. It’s not an urban problem. This is a statewide problem,” he said.
Judge Miller says they’ve vaccinated nearly all of their first responders and frontline workers. If they don’t get more vaccines soon, the county won’t be able to give them their second doses.
The county judge says they also still need to vaccinate their most vulnerable communities.
“We’re continuing to see hospitalization rates rise or stay at a very high level,” said Judge Miller. “Until we can bring those hospitalization levels down, we’re going to wear out those frontline workers, those health care workers and those health care professionals we just vaccinated. Those that are most susceptible to being hospitalized, you’ve got to get them vaccinated.”
Judge Miller says all of their registered health care vaccine providers have submitted orders to the state, and they plan on pushing the state to get those orders filled so their county doesn’t get left behind.
As of Wednesday, January 13, Coryell County has seen 2,318 total cases. There are currently 551 active cases. Their hospitalization rate is around 23.8%, the same as Bell County’s.