RICHMOND, Texas – People over 65 or with pre-existing medical conditions are currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine but find getting it is often a matter of luck.
One of the folks who’s spent weeks trying to get the vaccine is Tuan-Anh “Tuna” Nguyen, a Richmond swimming pool contractor. About two years ago, he nearly died from congenital heart failure, putting him in the high-risk group for the COVID-19 infection.
“I think getting it would be deadly for me,” he said.
So since December, Nguyen and his wife have been searching for a clinic or drug store that could give him the shot, without much luck.
“We been Googling, just calling around and trying to figure out where to go,” he said. “They were pretty much saying call back and we’ll let you know, or we’re out, we should be getting some more. Leave your email and we’ll let you know.”
But then Wednesday morning, he met with friends for coffee at a Randall’s grocery store in his neighborhood and learned the store’s pharmacy had just received a hundred doses. He signed up immediately and is now in line to finally get the vaccine. A happy accident.
“Pretty excited about it and my wife was pretty excited I was able to get it,” he said.
County Judge Lina Hidalgo said about one million people in Harris County are eligible for the vaccine right now, but only a small fraction of doses have been received through the state health department.
Kroger pharmacist Derek David said obtaining the vaccine is a complicated process.
“I think I would say a lot of moving parts and this has happened really quickly,” he said.
The Texas Department of State Health Services announced Thursday that beginning next week, it will direct about 200,000 doses of vaccine to large providers or hubs in an apparent move to improve distribution.
But for now, just finding the vaccine can still be daunting for those eligible to get it. The DSHS provides some help for locating local providers on this website.
You can find it through this link: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/immunize/vaccine.aspx