WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas - The Family Emergency Room clinic in Cedar Park is part of Williamson County's vaccine hub plan, which is coordinated by the county's Office of Emergency Management. Unlike a single hub, like in Arlington, the plan is for at least 3 satellite distribution sites, according to Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell.
"But again, it is like football, you can have the best playbook in the world, but unless you've got your player's there, and you've got an opposing them and a stadium, it's not much of a game, and right now quite honestly, we've got everything ready to go, we just don't have the ball," said Judge Gravell.
The ball, 6,000 doses of vaccine, is expected to arrive in a few days with mass distribution before the end of the week. Only those in groups 1a and 1b are still eligible.
Appointments are to be made online or by phone. Links and numbers will be posted on the county website.
"We've had about 20,000 people vaccinated here in Williamson County. But out of that 20,000 figure that’s our long term care facilities, those are nursing facilities, our doctors, our nurses, our paramedics, and our firefighters. Out of that 20,000, only 2,600 have gotten the second shot. And what that means is, we only have about 26-hundred people in Williamson County that have about 90% chance of not contracting the COVID virus," said Gravell.
My 91-year-old mother-in-law, Dolores, is in that vaccine gap group. The memory care center Dolores lives at provided her and other residents with the first shot earlier this month, but Monday morning she tested positive.
The notification call was not a complete surprise for my wife. "Because it’s been going through the center. And I knew we were bidding our time until we got that call. It wasn't something I wanted to get, but I got it," said Amy Koski.
My mother-in-law's case also serves as a warning.
"I thought she might have some immunity, but I kind of want people to know, just because you get your first immunization, doesn't mean you are protected. A lot of people there at the facility got their first immunization. You're not protected until you have both immunizations, so don’t start going out there and thinking everything is OK," said Amy.
Another important point is this; vaccinations for the general public are still weeks if not months away.
"Just to vaccinate people 65 and older, or 16 and up older with other health-related issues, in Williamson County alone, there are 250,000 people that fall in that category, and when you are only getting 6,000 doses a week, it’s going to take a long time to get through 250,000, so, we are going to have to be patient. It’s a long time for us to see the vaccine," said Judge Gravell.
County officials want to emphasize the Hub plan, for now, is not for the general public. And because of the limited amount, all the distribution sites may not be up and running at the same time.