Last month Gov. Greg Abbott announced that Texas became the first in the U.S. to administer 1 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, many Texans are still waiting for the chance to apply for the vaccine.
In Walker County, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has six vaccination providers in Huntsville that are awaiting vaccine shipments.
“First, it is important to understand that the supply of vaccine is limited by both the manufacturer’s ability to produce it and the amount allotted to Texas by the federal government,” press officer at DSHS Lara Anton said.
While those providers wait, Walker County Office Emergency Management, with the collaboration of Huntsville Memorial Hospital and Family Medical Clinic, has created a vaccination hub located at the Walker County Fairground. The drive-through vaccination hub is expected to vaccinate 500 people per day, according to Huntsville Item.
According to Emergency Management Coordinator Butch Davis, the county needs the DSHS to approve the hub and send vaccinations.
“We get approved for the hub this next week, and we get the website up, and we get the vaccines, we will start immediately,” Davis said.
However, the vaccine hub has created confusion between the county government and state government officials about when it can open.
“DSHS has not designated any providers in Walker County as a hub,” Anton said. “We are not planning to add many more hubs because of the limited supply of the vaccine. The state needs to send vaccines to smaller providers as well as the hubs to ensure that vaccine is getting to vulnerable populations in both rural and urban areas.”
According to Davis, he has a weekly meeting with the head of DSHS about creating the vaccination hub in Walker County.
Currently, Walker County is waiting for vaccine shipments and no application process has begun yet. To learn more, please visit Huntsville’s COVID-19 Information website.