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Abilene-Taylor County Health District becomes COVID-19 vaccination ‘hub’



Starting Jan. 21, the Abilene-Taylor County will administer at least 1,200 doses of COVID-19 vaccine each week, according to Health Director Annette Lerma.

As one of the state’s vaccination hubs, Lerma said anyone from any part of Texas who falls under Phases 1A and 1B can put their name on a waitlist to get their next dose.

At least 12,000 names were on the waitlist as of Wednesday afternoon, which is why Lerma said it will take a while to get everyone vaccinated.

“It’s going to take us 10 weeks to get through everybody on that list,” she said.

Lerma said the state wants them to use up the weekly allotment as quickly as possible.

Several people in Phase 1B, which includes those 65 and older, or 16 and older with certain chronic health conditions, have contacted KTXS after having trouble finding doses.

“What would you say to people who are frustrated they haven’t been able to get vaccinated?” asked reporter Daniela Ibarra.

“We’re just as frustrated,” replied Annette Lerma. “We feel their pain, we want the state to send us more. Trust me, we are advocating at every level we know to advocate for.”

The vaccinations are by appointment only.

Until the health department implements an automated signup system to book an appointment, Lerma said you can add your name to the waitlist through their online form.

“If they’ve signed up on our waiting list, you need to make sure that you’re answering calls from unknown numbers and numbers with no caller ID,” said Lerma.

If you miss the call, Lerma said your name will stay on the waiting list for whenever another appointment becomes available.

“Just please be patient as we work quickly to get as many vaccines out as possible,” she added.

Free transportation

CityLink will offer free rides from a home or business within Abilene city limits, according to Director of Transportation Services Don Green.

“Our intent is for the van to stay, while that person waits out their time frame on the after the vaccination, then bring them back,” said Green. “But we’re gonna be running a continuous shuttle, so it may have to leave.”

To schedule your free ride to the vaccination site, call 325-676-6287 and select option 2.

No Computer, No Problem

KTXS viewers have asked how they can sign up if they don’t have a computer.

We asked the health department that question.

“If individuals don’t have access to a computer/internet and are unable to get assistance from friends/relatives, we’ve recommended that they reach out to our local library as they have computers, internet access and amazing staff that can walk them through the process,” said Christine Lucio. “If they don’t want to physically go to the library, they can call the library or the Health Dept. as both have staff that can access the form, walk them through the questions during the call and submit the form on their behalf.”