Williamson County working on tackling COVID-19 vaccine waitlist

As people gather in the parking lot of Kelley Reeves Stadium to wait in line for their COVID-19 vaccine, Williamson County Judge, Bill Gravell saw a much different sight.

"Today was the first time in a long time and in the lines that were at Kelly Reeves Stadium that I saw people smiling," he said. "And I heard the word thank you. So, it's the first hope that I've seen in this last year."

The county opened two vaccine hubs last week, in the first two days, they vaccinated more than 7,000 people. "What it means is the sooner we can put shots in arms, for those that want to be vaccinated, the sooner that we can move away from this pandemic," Gravell said.


While there are still shortages for those who need the vaccine, not just in Williamson county, but in most counties across Texas, Gravell says the vaccines they get, go straight into the arms of those who need the shot.
"The problem is pretty simple but pretty complex," he said. "We only get a number of vaccines a week, and it's a very limited number in comparison to our population."

In this week’s allotment, Texas will receive more than 330,000 first doses of COVID-19 vaccines from the federal government, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. More than 216,000 second doses will be received for people vaccinated a few weeks ago.

DSHS says vaccines remain limited based on capacity. Adding it will take time for the state to receive enough of the shot for all the people in the priority populations who want to be vaccinated.

Jen Stratton is with Family Hospital Systems and is working on-site at the Kelly Reeves Stadium. She said they work 12-hour days making sure they can get vaccines to the public.

She emphasized that right now it’s still only those who are priority phases that are eligible. "We do encourage folks who are truly 1B to sign up," Stratton said. "If they aren’t, now is not the time to sign up."

Gravell reiterating that if it is not your time, don’t come. "There's no way to hold people accountable other than to remind them that a shot in their arm is taking away a shot from being an arm of a senior adult," he said.

In Austin, Mayor Steve Adler says about 2% of the population has received their vaccine. "For months now we have been planning our ability to scale and get out to the community," he said. "However much supply comes our way, we are ready to do that."

However, says it will take some patience before it gets around to the general population. "Everybody just needs to be patient while the federal government increases the amount of supply that comes to the state and will therefore come to us," said Adler.

Something Gravell echoes but adds on one more thing. Asking the community: how you can step up and help others during this time?

"Not only is this unprecedented, but this also is something our nation has never seen before, and it's going to take it, everybody working together in that rowboat rowing in the same direction," Gravell said.