WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Following approval to contract with Family Hospital Systems and the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine, Williamson County officially launched its vaccine hub plan on Wednesday.
“It’s kind of like we’re a football team. We got all the plays, we got the players and a great playbook. We just needed the vaccine,” said Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell.
Williamson County made “football” happen outside the Kelly Reeves Sports Complex Wednesday. The county took on a drive-thru clinic approach to vaccinate about 1,700 people in the parking lot.
“We are set to vaccinate 1,700 people at Kelly Reeves and around 288 inside the Sun City ballroom,” said a Family Hospital Systems spokesperson.
“It’s a step. We’re on the way. One more and done,” said Robert Holt, Georgetown resident. “I’m excited to get back to playing poker and going to restaurants with my friends.”
Holt is one of the 1,700 to get his vaccine at Kelly Reeves. His sentiments towards getting the vaccine are shared by many.
“We tried to get in Travis County. We’ve just been watching several different sites and clicking several times a day,” said Janet Stephens. “This one just happened to come up for us last night. Hopefully it gives us some freedom.”
“When I first got here there was a little bit of confusion as to who was suppose to drive where… They didn’t star vaccinating until noon, so I got out by around 12:35,” Chris Parks. “It’ll be nice to get back to things.”
“I work for the district attorney’s office in Williamson County. I have to go into the office,” said Sherry Pappas. “I’ve wanted the vaccine since it first came out; I had no hesitations to get it.”
Family Hospital Systems says it had an obligation to vaccine the rest of its county employees, which according to a Family Hospital Systems spokesperson, was a couple hundred people. The rest of the vaccines went to those who rose to the top of the pre-registration list.
“We had many people working last night making sure we had people checked and double checked who were suppose to be vaccinated Monday,” said a Family Hospital Systems spokesperson.
Family Hospital Systems was originally expecting the vaccine Monday, but they didn’t come from the Texas Department of State Health Services until Wednesday.
“We responded on Friday that our staff would be available to receive the vaccine on Monday,” said a Family Hospital spokesperson. “Family Hospital Systems certainly sympathizes with the pressure that DSHS is facing.”
Those who were able to get their shot reported a hassle-free system.
“It’s high anxiety, but it moves so smooth and so fast. It’s unbelievable,” said Holt.
Williamson County still doesn’t have enough vaccines to keep up with the demand needed. The county only received 6,000 in its first allotment. Family Hospital System’s website shows over 44,000 people have pre-registered to receive the vaccine.