NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas — Comal County is working with the City of New Braunfels to open up a mass vaccination site, but in order to do that, officials say more vaccines need to be sent.
“How much of a gamechanger is it?” Linda Youngblood turned and asked her husband, referring to getting immunized.
“Oh, it’s a big one, because we’re both in the high-risk category," he answered. "I’ll be 75 in a couple of months and she’s, uh, 50, for the 20-something time.”
Lloyd and Linda Youngblood say they were impressed with how quickly Comal County was able to get them vaccinated.
“We were expecting a little bit (of a) longer wait time, but we got the call and we got registered and here we are.”
The retired neurosurgeon and registered nurse were among 200 Comal County residents who received the coronavirus vaccine Thursday at the New Braunfels Civic and Convention Center.
“It’s the county and the city with a coordinated effort, and we’re very optimistic that everything will go smoothly,” said Cheryl Fraser, the Comal County director of public health.
She said the convention center is an ideal environment for distributing vaccines on a large scale.
“It’s a great space. It’s got doors on each side, so that allows us a one-directional flow,” she said.
There are 59 sites around the county, but only 16 of them have received vaccines. Comal County has received 9,200 doses in all, but that’s first and second doses, so they’ll be able to vaccinate only half as many people with those shipments.
Fraser says the state needs to see that Comal County can handle distributing doses on a larger scale.
“We’re kind of doing this to show everybody that we do have the capability, and we can do this on a bigger scale if we’re provided more vaccine,” she said.
Linda is just relieved to have been vaccinated, but she knows it’s important to keep her guard up.
“I think, emotionally, it’s a little bit of a relief, but still we know that we have to practice all those safeguards," she said.
Comal County is urging residents to visit its public health website for updates on the availability of vaccines so phone lines can remain free for other public health issues.
“We have an abundant amount of phone calls coming in that is actually hindering our regular appointments at the public health department,” Fraser said. “We still have infants that need immunizations and other appointments to tend to.”