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Some neighboring counties have short COVID-19 vaccination waitlists and encourage those who qualify to join

The Fayette County spokesperson said the county's waitlist is cleared almost every week as of recently.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Fayette County and Williamson County spokespersons said their COVID-19 vaccination waitlists are down and they encourage people from neighboring counties to get on their waitlists. 

"I've probably directly scheduled 275," said "vaccine hunter" William Charnes.

Waking up at 4 a.m. and finding COVID-19 vaccine appointments for those who need help has become a routine for Charnes. The self-dubbed vaccine hunter said lately more appointments have become available in Austin, but he relies heavily on surrounding counties to get people scheduled.  

"Both Killeen and Temple always have availability as well as Marlon," said Charnes. "I've placed a lot of people there that are willing to drive 100 miles." 

No matter where you live in Texas, you can get vaccinated at any hub if you qualify – but the number of people on each waitlist varies at any given time. 

According to Fayette County Chief of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Craig Moreau, the Texas Regional subhub in Brenham has a short waitlist.

"We are generally able to clear out that waitlist within a week or two," said Moreau. "So it's a running list but right now, there's not a very long wait. At one point we were at 5,000 or 6,000 for Fayette County, which there's only 28,000 residents. So, I mean, a quarter of our residents were on the waitlist at one point and that is dwindled down to almost a weekly list. " 

Moreau said Fayette County is participating in that subhub in Brenham, which is expected to get 3,000 first doses the week of March 22. 

Monday, Fayette and Lee county officials, in conjunction with St. Marks Hospital, will host their first drive-thru vaccination site at Fairgrounds. They expect to get 1,000 first doses for that event. 

Both events are by appointment only. If you need help call Fayette County's Emergency Management Department at 979-968-6469. 

"People are able to call in and then within just a week or two, usually get a vaccine, sometimes the same day if they're qualified," said Moreau. 

In Williamson County, more than 9,000 first doses are headed their way next week according to the Department of State Health Services. 

As of Friday, its waitlist dropped to about 4,000 people. Now that the county has three drive-thru vaccination sites, people in groups 1A through 1C, along with teachers and child care workers, are encouraged to sign up on the county's website.

"There's no Fayette County vaccines or Travis County vaccines," said Moreau. "These are these are Texans vaccines for Texans. They belong to you, the taxpayer. They belong to the citizens." 

Family Hospital Systems, a Williamson County provider, is also partnering with Vaccinate Austin and opened a new waitlist. 

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