The Wharton County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) on Wednesday, Jan. 20, reported it will be a few months before the vaccine is more widely available.
Spring is the best estimate of when the vaccine would be available for the general public. That was the answer given by the OEM regarding Phase 1 and who would receive the vaccine next and when.
The Wharton County OEM is headed by Coordinator Andy Kirkland. He shared the “latest” from the Texas Department of Health Services (DSHS), including information from COVID-19 vaccination hub provider pages.
You can now find a hub and learn how to register.
On its website, the DSHS had a “Vaccine Hub Provider List.” Unfortunately for those in Wharton County, there aren’t any, as of Friday, Jan. 22. The nearest one is in Fort Bend County. It is the Fort Bend County Health Department. The number is 832-471-1373.
The website is as follows: http://fort-bend-covid-19-response-fbc-hhs.hub.arcgis.com/
This hub is updated daily Monday through Friday.
The DSHS webpage shows the name of the county where a provider is located. There could be several within a county like Bexar, Collin, Dallas and Harris. Galveston County has two.
The website for this information is: http://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/immunize/vaccine-hubs.aspx#hublist
Kirkland advises do not show up at a vaccine hub without first signing up or checking the provider’s instructions for scheduling.
The OEM reports that a hub provider may already have long waiting lists or may be no longer accepting appointments for a certain week.
Each hub’s registration process is different, so you are asked to look carefully at a hub’s registration site for details.
Depending on the provider, you may be placed on a waiting list and/or may be contacted (phone, email, or text) when vaccines become available.
According to the OEM, another option is to check with a vaccine provider near you. Local vaccine providers, like pharmacies, may have vaccine available. You can use the Texas COVID-19 vaccine availability map to find a provider near you with vaccine available. Check the provider’s website for how to best sign up for a vaccine.
Kirkland advised against showing up at a hospital or clinic looking for a vaccine. He said instead check the health provider’s website for information about vaccine availability and/or a wait list.