Caldwell County seeks direction from the state on how to be approved for vaccine hub

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CALDWELL COUNTY, TX (KXAN) — Caldwell County says it’s ready and able to operate as a vaccine hub.

However, Caldwell County Judge Hoppy Haden hasn’t heard back about whether the state will approve their request — a frustrating process for the judge.

Right now, Haden said they’re finalizing their hub application and modeling the application off of Bastrop County, which has been approved. The county is trying to get details about what Bastrop did to ensure approval, but aren’t getting direction.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) website, 75 counties have been approved as hubs.

Caldwell County leaders said those who want to try to get a vaccine are having to drive to other locations. This isn’t ideal for those 65 and older.

Haden says they need their own hub, so they can vaccinate more people.

Right now, there are individual providers in Caldwell County, but the county has no oversight as to how many vaccines it receives and doesn’t coordinate appointments.

Unlike other counties that have been approved as hubs, there isn’t a public health department in Caldwell County, which is creating unique challenges,

“The bottom line is, we’re suffering from COVID as badly, if not worse as the other counties,” Haden said. “I just would like somebody to reach out to our county and say if we get this set up the way that neighboring counties have, that don’t have health departments, then you will get a hub.”

A DSHS spokesperson said — “the supply of vaccine provided to Texas each week by the federal government remains very limited and prevents us from providing larger amounts everywhere we would like to. 1,200 doses have been allocated to providers in Caldwell County to this point, and that will continue to increase in future weeks.”

In the meantime, Haden is forming a coalition of rural county judges, so that they can advocate more for their communities. 

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