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COVID-19 vaccination proceeds at a snail’s pace in one Central Texas county

Fewer than 100 residents of San Saba County have received the first dose of the COVID-19...
Fewer than 100 residents of San Saba County have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. (File)(WDBJ7 Photo)
Published: Feb. 2, 2021 at 6:27 PM CST
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SAN SABA, Texas (KWTX) – A month into 2021, and fewer than 100 residents of San Saba County have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and only about a dozen have received a second dose.

In fact more residents of other counties in the region have received the second shot than have received first in San Saba County.

In Mills County, with 1,000 fewer residents, nearly four times as many people have been vaccinated so far.

The county’s health authority, Dr. Craig Whiting, says the local pharmacy, nursing home and clinic have all made requests to the state for vaccine.

The Baylor Scott & White clinic was supposed to get a number of doses, but when the clinic relocated two weeks ago, its vaccine refrigerators needed to be re-evaluated, and its vaccine allotment was sent elsewhere.

The state sent about 50 doses two weeks ago for people in the Phase 1A group, which includes frontline healthcare workers and residents and employees of long-term care facilities.

Their second dose is set to arrive on Feb. 9.

A shipment for the local nursing home also arrived, and 60% of the residents and staff chose to get the shot.

“Some residents made the choice, some of them their family decided for them, but most of the staff did choose to be vaccinated,” Whiting said.

Everett’s Pharmacy is still waiting for its doses, which are due to arrive sometime this month.

In the meantime, Whiting is encouraging residents to take advantage of the closest vaccination hub, which is in Marble Falls, over an hour away.

The the Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Marble Falls was due to receive a delivery of 975 doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week. Eligible residents do not have to be patients to receive the vaccine, but must set up a MyBSWHealthAccount. Residents may also call 844-BSW-VACC or text BETTER to 88408 to get on the waiting list.

“They were designated as a hub specifically to serve the Hill Country which includes San Saba,” Whiting said.

So far, he says San Saba County residents account for 12 of the 2,000 doses given at that site.

Spreading the word about the option has been a challenge, he says, because residents without internet service don’t know how to get on the waiting list and don’t know the qualifications.

Whiting says he and officials in surrounding counties are working together to find other options.

“Leadership in Llano County, Mason County as well as here in San Saba County have joined together and applied to become a tri-county hub,” he said.

They’re waiting to hear if their application was accepted.

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