Frustration grows for Central Texans seeking COVID-19 vaccine, but federal help could be on the way

Texas Coronavirus Vaccine

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Ellen Manzo’s father, a WWII veteran, caught COVID-19 at his assisted living facility over Christmas.

On his journey to recovery, she is attempting to step in and care for him. She said that can’t happen, until she gets the vaccine as part of Phase 1B.

“Just getting over COVID is step one of this journey. Having seen what’s happened to him and having also someone I know who was on a ventilator for eight weeks and finally lost the battle, I want to avoid that issue as much as possible in my family,” Manzo explained. “I want to make sure when he’s coming into my home, he’s coming into a safe home.”

She’s been trying to book an appointment for nearly two months, but still, no luck.

“It’s ridiculous… everyday I go on to four websites religiously, and I usually do it sometime in the early morning and around 6 a.m. to 7 a.m.,” Manzo said.

But federal help could be on the way. Congressman Lloyd Doggett held a health subcommittee hearing on Friday focused on the path forward for COVID-19 immunizations.

During the hearing, he announced the T.R.A.C.K. Act, which was filed on Friday. The legislation stands for “Taxpayer Research And Coronavirus Knowledge”, and its goal would be to pinpoint where taxpayer dollars are being used for vaccines and treatments, which in turn could ensure quick and sufficient supply.

“When we learn that information, we are in a better position to insist that taxpayers are really the angel investors, they deserve information and a good return on their investment,” Doggett said.

Doggett says he’s also working with the Biden administration on rollout issues in Central Texas, including timeline uncertainties and the need for more doses. He’s pushing for a central registry which would show when, where and how much vaccine is available in local municipalities.

Doggett’s office said implementing the central registry would be up to local health entities. If it’s done at the state level, it would require Gov. Greg Abbott’s approval.

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