Vaccine distribution continues in Caldwell County
Monday marked the beginning of all adults being eligible to receive the vaccine in Texas, and local vaccine supply availability and vaccination opportunities are also on the rise.
Vaccination opportunities available in or near Caldwell County this week include events at the Circuit of the Americas south of Austin, ASKE Solutions in North Lockhart and the Adams Gym at the Lockhart ISD Administration Building.
Caldwell County Judge Hoppy Haden said it was necessary to sign up on the Caldwell County website to access these opportunities.
“We have several opportunities,” Haden said in an e-mail this week. “Thursday, we have 200 vaccines at Adams Gym. You need to sign up on the county waiting list to get called for this opportunity as well as COTA. There are also 1,000 vaccines available at ASKE Solutions north of Lockhart, and you also need to be on the Caldwell County Waiting list to be eligible for this one.”
While the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) went live with its new state sign-up portal this week, some local opportunities can only be accessed through the link to the local portal on co.caldwell.tx.us.
“It’s not for these,” Haden said of the state portal. “With COTA, you have to get an invitation, and they source from our sign-up list when sending out invitations. It’s a closed loop.”
Haden said creating a sign up and clicking any of the registration links on the county’s SignUpGenius site would put users in the queue for the vaccine.
Haden said the county was in talks with Curative, a company that handles COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, to assist with future vaccination events.
“Once we have their help, we’ll be able to vaccinate 3,000 people per week,” he said.
The improvement in vaccination capacity has been trending not just locally, but across the state. Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd announced that 2 million vaccine doses were headed to Texas this week, with 700 of the doses being allocated to Lockhart businesses.
Businesses in Lockhart receiving more doses to distribute to the public this week include:
ASKE Solutions, 4001 N. US. 183
BJP Healthcare, 1724 S. Colorado Street
H-E-B Pharmacy, 403 S. Colorado Street
Lockhart Family Medicine, 1009 W. San Antonio Street
“The other providers such as H-E-B, Walmart, Dismukes Pharmacy in Luling and Edgar B. Davis in Luling all have their own waiting lists and they typically have 100 to 200 vaccines each,” Haden said.
The County Judge said he believed all eligible people in Group 1A and most of the population in Group 1B living in Caldwell County had been vaccinated.
“We’ve only got about 38,000 eligible people to vaccinate in Caldwell County, and about one-third of the population has had at least one dose,” Haden said.
That percentage is in line with the statewide vaccination rate. Governor Greg Abbott last week said 10 million COVID-19 vaccinations had been administered to Texans across the state, with more than 30 percent of eligible Texans having received at least one dose.
COVID-19 signup for homebound seniors now available
The Caldwell County Office of Emergency Management has added a tab in the county’s vaccine pre-registration page reserved for people who are homebound.
People who are unable to transport themselves to a vaccine appointment due to limited mobility (including requiring the use of a walker or wheelchair or being bedridden) are eligible for the program.
Approximately 70 county residents in Caldwell County have been vaccinated at home.
If you meet the criteria, sign up at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0c4ca4ab2ca4f8c43-caldwell3 to make an appointment or call: (512)359-4637. Only the individuals themselves or their family member may sign up for this service. Upon registration, a representative of the county will contact you to verify eligibility.
Due to limited doses and personnel available for this program, the county’s emergency management team will make the final determination on who is eligible and when appointments will be scheduled.
DSHS launches public health scheduler
The Texas DSHS’s public health scheduler gives people one place to sign up for a COVID-19 shot through multiple public health departments, including the eight DSHS public health regions, which provide public health services in nearly 200 Texas counties, and more than a dozen local health entities across the state.
Texas residents can visit getthevaccine.dshs.texas.gov to create a profile that includes their contact information, demographic details, and preferred time of day and days of the week for an appointment. Within a day, people eligible to be vaccinated will be matched with the next available appointment within their home county and preferred times. If none are available, the scheduler will continue to search for appointments as new clinics are scheduled and contact individuals when they have an appointment.
While most people will sign up online, a toll-free number is available to assist special populations that have difficulty using the online registration tool, including older adults over age 65, people with disabilities, and those with limited Internet access or other barriers to using technology. People in those groups can call 1-833-832-7067 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week to enroll in the scheduler and get help making an appointment. If there is no a participating health department in their area, they will be referred to local providers conducting vaccination near them.
The Texas Public Health Vaccine Scheduler will not replace all COVID-19 vaccine registration in the state. Many entities – including pharmacies, medical practices and some public health departments – are operating their own registration systems and will continue to do so. Links to other vaccine scheduling tools are available at dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/immunize/vaccine.