WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — More than 22,000 vaccine doses are heading to Williamson County to be distributed at hubs, hospitals and pharmacies next week.
County Judge Bill Gravell said the county also expects to get an additional 9,000 second doses, so county leaders are making several moves to ramp up its distribution efforts.
‘Save Our Seniors’ Initiative
“I may start crying. This has been such a godsend,” said Jean Spencer, who lives at Merritt Heritage Senior Village.
At the Georgetown living facility, Spencer and her husband Sunny are celebrating a new beginning.
“It’s been so hard ever since COVID came out, because I’m super-high risk,” said Spencer.
Social events at their living facility have been held at a minimum. It’s a COVID-19 pitfall for many who live there.
“We’ve seen a lot less events,” said Agg Reed. “We use to have them three or four times a week.
On Friday, Williamson County launched a ‘Save Our Seniors’ initiative in partnership with Curative. The van is targeting facilities that haven’t been able to bring vaccines into their doors.
Starting off, the SOS Van has three facilities on its list, and the county said it hopes to vaccinate 300 to 400 people each week.
“The mission is to obviously end the pandemic,” said Christan Meehan with Curative.
Curative is set to open another drive-thru vaccine site on March 12 at Dell Diamond, according to the county. It will be by appointment only, they will be able to vaccinate between 2,000 and 3,000 people per day, according to the county.
Family Hospital Systems, one hub partner in Williamson County, is bringing a new flair to COVID-19 vaccinations by hosting a 1980s-themed ‘vax-a-thon’ on Saturday.
FHS said it’s only inviting those who are eligible right now and are already registered on the Williamson County waitlist. Staff will be sending out email invitations to schedule a time slot.
No vaccines will be given out to people who show up without an appointment.
“This one-of-a-kind event is designed to increase vaccination awareness while encouraging residents to kick COVID-19 out of Williamson County,” FHS said in a Facebook post.
FHS hopes people who are unable to come to the vaccine hub during normal hours can get their shots.
FHS said the vaccine clinic will go for 24 hours straight, starting on Saturday at 8 a.m. and lasting until Sunday at 8 a.m. at the Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex. Staff will also be celebrating with fun costumes and music. You’ll even be able to vote for your favorite staff costume on the FHS website.
Additionally, FHS is also collecting nonperishable food items for Hill Country Community Ministries, to help out in the wake of the winter storm.
FHS and Curative are still currently conducting drive-thru clinics at Kelly Reeves and the Georgetown ISD Athletic Complex. All are by appointment only.
Prioritizing hard-to-reach, vulnerable populations
This week, Williamson County and its hub partners will start using special teams to vaccinate those who may not have immediate access or time to head out to a drive-thru location.
The county launched the VaxMob mobile vaccine strike team. This effort is in collaboration with Williamson County EMS’ Community Health Paramedics and Mobile Outreach Team, who usually work with vulnerable populations, the county said.
The VaxMob will focus on people who work or live in places where they are close to others, as well as people who can’t travel to get the shot. In the VaxMob’s first week, the team was able to vaccinate 210 people at facilities like Juvenile Services, Hope Alliance and St. Cyril Catholic Church in Granger.
Williamson County is also adding a vaccination site in Taylor at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. This site will focus on people in Phases 1A and 1B who need a site out in the eastern part of the county, and do not have proper transportation. Again, this site is by appointment only using emailed invitations to those already on the county waitlist. They will be focusing on those with zip codes on the east side of the county. This effort will be able to vaccinate about 500 people per day.