Beverly and Tom Taylor in Galveston County are in their 80s—high risk for COVID-19. They spent ten months in isolation waiting for a vaccine and were finally scheduled to finally get it this Friday at UTMB Galveston. That’s until their appointment was canceled Monday.
"We were supposed to go Friday, but now all is off," said Beverly. "Since Tom has cancer and failing kidney, and we both have diabetes and are in our 80s, we should be getting our vaccine, ‘cause we’re people who like to do things, and we’re getting sick of this house, to be honest with you."
UTMB told the Taylors in an email that they did not receive the supply of vaccines they had expected.
"We regret to inform you that UTMB did not receive the expected supply of COVID-19 vaccine from the state for your appointment," the email reads. "Therefore, your Dose 1 appointment has been canceled. You will receive priority scheduling for Dose 1 once a new shipment of vaccine is received."
It happened the same day Texas DSHS announced it was creating vaccine "hubs"—more vaccines being distributed at fewer locations.
Galveston County health officials say many of their high-risk citizens are left waiting without an answer on when they can get vaccinated.
"We have not received any vaccine shipment this week, and we’re told that we won’t get any next week, although we might get some—whatever that means," said Philip Keiser, Galveston County Health Authority. "It’s very disturbing."
The Taylors’ 10-month quarantine has caused them to miss Thanksgiving, Christmas, and birthdays with their children and grandchildren.
"The vaccine—once we got the second one—we’re hoping we could see and do things more, you know," said Beverly.
The new hubs allocate vaccine distribution to three locations in Harris County—none in surrounding counties—so the Taylors’ predicament is a familiar story for Brazoria County residents too.
"I know there are lots of seniors that are wanting this vaccination," said Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta. "We continue to express to them, send more vaccines to the providers."
High-risk people who live in counties surrounding Houston are now eligible to sign up for a vaccination at one of the Harris County locations. That’s what Beverly and Tom did Tuesday.
They are still waiting to find out if and when they’ll get another appointment after the first one in Galveston was canceled.