Hays County leads Austin area in COVID-19 vaccinations among adults 65 and older


HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — While state and city officials push even harder for people to get their COVID-19 vaccine, state data shows Hays County is leading that fight in one category.

Nearly 95% of its 65 and older population has gotten at least one dose. For members at the Onion Creek Senior Center in Buda, that means another step toward normalcy.

“Oh no, she did it again!” one member sitting at game table with her friends said.

They’re back to their weekly game mornings now that they’ve gotten both COVID-19 vaccines.

“We missed each other,” Carolyn Huddleston said. “We’re getting back to normal.”

Getting their shots was like getting their lives back.

“Yes, to protect my children,” Huddleston said.

Another member told KXAN she too got the vaccine for her family’s protection.

“I didn’t want anyone in my family to catch this thing,” they said.

Onion Creek hasn’t been back open for long, but with such high vaccination numbers among its senior community, the director said they felt they can now gather safely again.

“It’s absolutely wonderful to be able to open our doors again,” Director of Onion Creek Sandra Grizzle said.

While just 95% of adults 65 and older in Hays County have been vaccinated, about 87% in Travis County and 91% in Williamson County have received at least one shot.

“We have a unified team countywide,” Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra said. “At the municipal level, at the county level… we have the privilege of working together.”

Becerra said they’ve worked to get rid of barriers, making the vaccine as accessible as possible.

“It’s been very fruitful as you can tell,” Becerra said.

As members of Onion Creek laugh a little harder and joke a little longer, there is some relief in having extra protection.

Central Texas added another county with a majority of people who have gotten at least one dose. Caldwell County is now the eighth county to cross 50%. That includes more than 40% of people who are fully vaccinated.

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