WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas — Williamson County officials said in a news conference Monday that the COVID-19 vaccine supply has caught up with demand, so the County is making changes to how its residents can receive vaccines. As of Monday, 25 vaccine providers in Williamson County have more than 20,010 first shots available.
"We have more vaccine on hand than we have arms to put them in," Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said.
People who want to make vaccine appointments can find providers through the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) website.
Recently, Williamson County closed its centralized COVID-19 vaccination waitlist because of a drop in demand. Instead of registering for the vaccine through the County, people can now schedule appointments directly with providers.
Williamson County officials also said this will be the last week the county uses mass vaccination sites for first dose appointments. The people who receive vaccines through the large hub sites this week will be able to return for their second dose appointments in a few weeks. But going forward, Williamson County will direct people to smaller clinics, doctors' offices and other providers to receive the vaccine.
"The mass drive-thru sites will stop, but we're not going to stop reaching out and connecting with our folks and vaccinating the ones that want to be vaccinated," Gravell said.
Gravell thanked Curative for the company's help running mass vaccination sites in the county.
"Folks, it was like the field of dreams. All of the people, the participants, the parties came together and they built it," Gravell said.
Now, Curative will focus on smaller-scale vaccination efforts. People can book appointments through Curative's website.
"We're now pivoting and utilizing our mobile vaccine unit and going out to hard-to-reach locations," said Terra Williams, the Central Texas growth manager for Curative. "We will not turn anybody away. We want to vaccinate everybody. If you don't have insurance, we will still vaccinate you. If you don't have an ID with you, we will still vaccinate you as long as you're of legal age."
According to the DSHS, 80% of adults over the age of 65 in Williamson County have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Nearly 64% of the 65 and older population in Williamson County is fully vaccinated.
"Before this week is out, we will have well-achieved herd immunity in Williamson County in the population over age 65 and older," Gravell said.
Nearly 52% of people who are at least 16 years old in Williamson County have received at least one dose.
Gravell said Monday marks four months since the county started COVID-19 vaccinations for the public. Two weeks prior to that, first responders, paramedics and medical staff were able to get the shot. Gravell said Williamson County will no longer give press conferences related to COVID-19 moving forward.
"The last year and two months, we have walked through the most difficult thing, I believe, that Williamson County has ever walked through," Gravell said. "And you have walked through that with us, hand in hand. I want to say too thank you for your understanding and for your patience."
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