AUSTIN, Texas - At the beginning of the vaccine rollout, it was just healthcare employees allowed to get vaccinated. Now it has expanded to phase 1b, which includes those 16 and older with high-risk conditions, as well as those over 65.
However, residents across Travis County have been confused about where to go get a COVID-19 vaccine.
"We have certainly heard from people who have been frustrated with that," said Chris Van Deusen, spokesman with Texas Department of State Health Services.
Right now, if you are eligible and want to be vaccinated, you will either be notified by your doctor, or you'll have to go on a possible scavenger hunt, looking for vaccine around town inside pharmacies and retail locations. The state said starting Sunday, things will be a lot easier.
"We will be allocating vaccine next week to some larger hub providers around the state. That is going to try to centralize things a little bit and make sure people have some more identifiable places in Texas they can check in with, call," said Van Deusen.
"We are excited to improve the vaccine process for both the providers and the public. We are excited to strike a serious blow to COVID-19," said DSHS Commissioner John Hellerstadt.
Larger quantities will be sent to these central and well-known locations next week. "We are shifting a little bit now to some of these larger sites that will be getting in some cases several thousand doses of vaccine in a week," said Van Deusen.
The state said the manufacturing process is what has slowed vaccine availability down.
"Because the supply has been limited and allotted to push it out widely across the state that meant that there was no one place that got a really huge supply of vaccine," said Van Deusen.
The vaccine is welcome news to Austin and Travis County, and especially Central Health and CommUnity Care who serve the underserved.
"We have reopened our Rosewood-Zaragosa Clinic as a vaccine clinic only. We are also working on the eastern crescent to vaccinate folks on the east side. We have received vaccine specifically for the Bastrop County area, so we are working with local partners in Bastrop as well as other partners on the eastern crescent," said Monica Saavedra, director of marketing at CommUnity Care.
The state is excited to see people wanting the vaccine, but now the waiting game may need to be played until they get more shipments.