Hays County COVID-19 vaccine update for January 18

HAYS COUNTY — The county is now considered to be a COVID-19 vaccine hub, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

The Hays County Local Health Department (HCLHD) and Emergency Operations Office are preparing to distribute the vaccine based on the state’s rollout plan. While the HCLHD anticipates a shipment of approximately 1,900 vaccines this week, vaccines are only available to those eligible in the 1A and 1B groups at this time.

“Right now, the vaccine supply is limited and HCLDH must follow the state’s established protocols,” said Tammy Crumley, HCLHD director. “As the supply becomes more available from manufacturers, hubs such as HCLHD will be prepared to help get a vaccine to everyone who wants it but that will take time.”

Crumley reminded residents that it will require patience to receive more does of the vaccine.

“We see and understand the frustration and know that many Hays County residents are eager to be vaccinated,” Crumley said. “That is a very positive sign, yet we must proceed cautiously and in an organized, thoughtful manner.”

County officials still encourage the practice of COVID-19 precautions including handwashing and wearing masks. Avoiding large gatherings with those who are not part of your household is also recommended.

County Judge Ruben Becerra, along with other officials, will provide COVID-19 updates every Friday at 1 p.m. using Facebook Live.

Information on the Phase 1B Criteria

Phase 1B will provide vaccines to:

  • Individuals age 65 or older;
  • Higher-risk people regardless of their work sector or status;
  • Critical populations at an increased risk of getting COVID-19:
  • Communities that are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and other chronic diseases;
  • Teachers and school staff who ensure that Texas children can learn in a safe environment;
  • Social services workers who ensure that those in need receive care and support;
  • Workers who maintain critical infrastructure to support the Texas economy; and
  • Other front-line workers who are unable to work remotely and so are more likely to be exposed.

Those who may be eligible for a vaccine under the DSHS 1B list also include those who are 16 years of age and older with at least one chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19, including but are not limited to:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies
  • Solid organ transplantation
  • Obesity and severe obesity (body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or higher)
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

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About Author

Megan Navarro (Wehring) graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. In June 2020, she started a summer internship at the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch through the Dow Jones News Fund and Texas Press Association. She then earned her way to a reporter position later that summer and now, she serves as the editor of the newspaper. Working for a small publication, Navarro wears multiple hats. She has various responsibilities including managing a team of reporters, making editorial decisions, overseeing social media posts, fact checking, writing her own articles and more. Navarro has a heart for storytelling and she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are important to the community.

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