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Texans in Groups 1A, 1B still having trouble getting COVID-19 vaccine

Less than 1% of Texans have received a COVID-19 vaccination since doses began to roll out across southeast Texas. Data suggest people are having trouble getting vaccinated.

“I have no idea,” was a common response by people young and old at a national chain Baytown pharmacy, Friday.

Right now, the Texas Department of State Health Services is generally following CDC guidance.

Frontline healthcare workers, residents of long term care facilities, people over 65 (federal guidance is 75), and people over 16 with certain pre-existing health conditions are eligible for the vaccine. The problem is many don’t know what to do, how to get it, or who to contact to get the ball rolling.

“I guess my Doctor will call me,” said a Baytown resident, 81, who preferred not to give his name.

Still others, like Brian Battiste, who has always been told he is an “essential worker,” are at the back of the line when it comes to the vaccine. Battiste is not in Groups 1A or 1B but is a truck driver.

“We have been on the frontlines since the beginning, supplying Walmarts and Home Depots with toilet paper and essentials. We’re considered essential, but we’re not in that figure,” Battiste said.

Battiste said he had inquired with his employer but had not gotten any definitive answers. There is no magic answer. The best bet appears to be pro-active persistence.