Medical staff at smaller hospitals in Hays County have limited access right now to COVID-19 vaccine


HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — COVID-19 vaccines are arriving and being administered at some of the larger medical facilities in Texas, but many smaller ones aren’t so lucky.

Ascension Seton Hays Hospital in Kyle is the only hospital expected to get the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines this week in Hays County. But, what does that mean for smaller hospitals like CHRISTUS Santa Rosa in San Marcos, where nurses are also treating patients for the virus?

Unless you’re a healthcare worker at Seton, a representative from CHRISTUS said there’s a chance you’ll have to travel to other cities like San Antonio. 

CHRISTUS Santa Rosa in San Marcos (KXAN Photo)

“I’m ready,” Tommye Austin, Chief Executive Nurse at University Health in San Antonio said. “If I could give it to myself, I would.”

Austin is expecting to get vaccinated later this week. 

“I’m excited—at first I was a little anxious,” she said. 

Austin understands not everyone has immediate access and is grateful she does. 

“In my mind, everyone has COVID-19 until they prove otherwise,” Austin said. “And for me, getting the vaccination means that we’re, like I said, we’re getting closer to having normalcy.”

Nurses in Hays County are still treating COVID-19 patients. The Hays County COVID-19 dashboard shows 5.6% of people in the area who have the virus are hospitalized, as of Dec. 15. 

It’s not clear when nurses at smaller hospitals in the county will be able to get vaccinated at their hospitals if they want to. 

In regards to nurses who don’t have the vaccine yet and may have to travel, “my advice would be to protect yourself, your family and your patients, really consider taking the vaccine,” Austin said. 

The CHRISTUS rep said staff from San Marcos will be able to get the vaccine at other sites within their networks, once it becomes available.

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