AUSTIN, Texas - Omar Gomez is hoping for many more years with his 93-year-old grandmother.
"She is still alive and kicking well and there is still plenty of time for her to enjoy life," he said.
He ran into this when he went to his local Austin HEB to get her first COVID-19 vaccine dose. The vaccine was not available that day. "She is 93 years old and she qualifies under 1B. It is very imperative she gets the vaccine that way she won't suffer any consequences from COVID-19," said Gomez.
The issue is being seen at other pharmacy and retail locations as well. Austin Public Health said the state allocates a certain amount for each county. So APH has only received around 1,300 doses...much under the amount they had hoped for.
"There is not enough vaccine to provide for our community," said Stephanie Hayden, director of APH.
"As of week 3 allocation, this county only received 42,000 doses of vaccine. That does not go very far and it does not meet the need we have for our direct healthcare staff. There are more that is coming to our county this week and we are working hard to distribute that but that only is about 10,000 additional doses," said Cassandra DeLeon, interim assistant director, APH.
Health officials are also looking at the possibility of opening the Austin Convention Center as its alternate care site if the number of hospitalizations continues to go up.
"It looks like we may run out of ICU beds next week," said Dr. Mark Escott, interim health authority, APH.
"We are coming to you from a place of being very concerned. Our numbers are at an all-time high," said Hayden.
The vaccine may be here but officials want people to buy more time to get it distributed. Meanwhile many like Gomez hope to get their loved ones vaccinated before it is too late.
"Just be transparent with the people let them know hey there is vaccines and let's go, don't wait. Maybe they should be shifting over to distribution sites other than retail pharmacies, maybe drive through vaccination like the COVID testing," said Gomez.