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'More Doses Are On The Way': First Round Of Hays County Vaccine Appointments Fills Up In Minutes

A UT Austin nursing student holds a vial of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 15, 2020.
Gabriel C. Pérez
A UT Austin nursing student holds a vial of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 15, 2020.

In less than 30 minutes, all available appointments for a vaccine in Hays County were booked, as the demand for the vaccine in Central Texas has continued to outpace the supply.

The nearly 2,000 doses of vaccine that arrived Friday were the first major shipment sent to the Hays County Health Department in the weeks since the vaccine rollout began. County officials have been pleading with the state to prioritize local health departments as priority providers, and have been frustrated with the lack of vaccine on hand.

Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra said the first of the 1,950 doses of the Pfizer vaccine will go out on Monday at two vaccination sites — both in San Marcos.

"That is the soonest we'll be able to produce them to be usable,” Becerra said. “We are promised by our federal government and our state government that more doses are on the way. And so we will do everything to give you everything that comes our way from information to vaccines and access to them."

Officials said they will reopen the appointment portal at once they receive the next batch of doses. For older people who aren’t tech-savvy or those without internet access, an appointment-by-phone system is available at 512-938-1650.

It's unclear when the next batch of doses will arrive. “It's a small amount, but it's a start,” said Tammy Crumley, director of the Hays County Local Health Department. “We will receive more. I don’t know exactly when. But we are going to need your continued patience with us.”

In the meantime, Becerra pleaded with residents and local businesses to continue following guidelines for mask-wearing and social distancing. He said that he doesn’t know of anyone who hasn’t been affected by the coronavirus, and shared that he himself has lost two aunts and a first cousin to the virus.

“The first cousin, very close to me, was a cardiologist. Why do I bring that up? Because he had full access to all medical support. And yet he died,” Becerra said. “No one knows how this will affect them. Do your part and if not for you, do it for your neighbors. Do it for your loved ones.”

This story has been updated.

Got a tip? Email Riane Roldan at Follow her on Twitter @RianeRoldan.

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Riane Roldan is the Hays County reporter for KUT, focusing on the costs and benefits of suburban growth. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on Twitter @RianeRoldan.
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