AUSTIN (KXAN) — More than 133,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were given out across the state of Texas on Thursday. Despite the record number, there are still men and women living and working in local assisted-living facilities who haven’t received a single dose of the vaccine.
Tucked away off a busy street in north Austin is The Collinfield House. Inside the assisted living facility are six seniors, including Nolan Lujan’s 95-year-old mother.
“It is an excellent place, and they have been unable to receive their COVID vaccinations,” Lujan said.
The owner, Terri Smith, registered to get the vaccine for the facility through the federal government and the state in early December. Since then, they’ve been waiting to vaccinate the six residents and 12 staff members.
“Our average age here is 93, this is our history, I get a little emotional in this house,” Smith said.
The emotion in Smith’s voice displayed just how much the residents mean to her. She said they are like family.
She received confirmation last month that she was registered through the federal pharmacy partnership for an on-site vaccination clinic.
“I send out updates every couple of weeks, and I’m hoping to say the vaccine is on it’s way, but more of my updates are ‘I’m doing everything I can,'” said Smith.
The Collinfield House needs about 18 doses. This comes as the state says the federal government is returning about 126,000 first doses that were set aside for the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care. The state says that is because the government overestimated the number of doses that was needed for that program.
This has left Lujan and his mother waiting for answers and more protection against COVID-19.
Fortunately, no one at the Collinfield House has tested positive for the coronavirus. The owner tells us they did hear from Austin Public Health Thursday afternoon, and they were told it has vaccine on hand to help staff and residents.
KXAN did reach out to the state to see how many long-term care facilities have not received COVID-19 vaccines. Our team asked if those facilities will get any of the extra doses from the federal pharmacy partnership. We’ll let you know when we get those answers.