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Seguin pharmacist among locally-owned pharmacies struggling to get coronavirus vaccine

Aaron Harris, who lives in Seguin, said people in smaller communities depend on their local pharmacies.

SEGUIN, Texas — It’s not uncommon these days for Merlin Tchawa Yigma, owner of Seguin Pharmacy, to be on the phone with customers, answering the same question over and over.

“Several calls from people asking when we going to get the vaccine,” Tchawa Yigma said.

For the past couple months each week, Tchawa Yigma has been applying for shipments of the coronavirus vaccine through the state health department.

He’s been eyeing the one-shot wonder.

“We be hoping to get the Johnson & Johnson,” Tchawa Yigma said.

But he will be waiting awhile longer until the supply chain meets up with demand.

“It’s a big frustration on us and a big frustration on our customers,” He said.

More than a million doses of the coronavirus vaccine are coming to Texas this week.

State health officials tell KENS 5 that federal partners anticipate the amount to increase throughout April, which will allow for expanded distribution to providers including more independent pharmacies. But state health officials could not provide data on how many locally-owned pharmacies have been waiting for vaccines.

“It’s what you do, you trust the locals,” said Seguin resident Aaron Harris.

Harris has lived in Seguin for much of his life. He knows the importance of small community health care. While chain companies are receiving the vaccine, Harris is disappointed that locally-owned pharmacies are not getting the same treatment.

“The fact that health care and medical providers should be right down the street, you shouldn’t have to travel far for it,” Harris said.

Meanwhile, Tchawa Yigma, pleads for the supply chain improves sooner rather than later so he can begin providing a shot of hope for his customers.