Trying to get on a COVID-19 vaccine waitlist when shots open to all adults Monday? Some sites let you, some won't

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — If you want a COVID-19 vaccine — and you’re 16 or older — you are just hours away from being able to do so. Texas is officially expanding eligibility starting Monday.

KXAN reporter Jala Washington tried signing up to get one. The process looks a little different depending on where you go to get an appointment.

First, she tried pre-registering through corporate pharmacies: CVS[1], Walgreens[2] and H-E-B[3].

CVS asked screening questions, such as your name, age, health conditions, etc. The registration portal told her she was not eligible to even get on its waitlist as of Sunday afternoon.

This did not reflect the Texas Department of State and Health Services (DSHS) new guidance allowing all adults to get vaccinated starting Monday.

Walgreens and H-E-B’s websites’ criteria also did not reflect new eligibility rules as of Sunday. However, it did not tell her she could not pre-register.

Next, she tried getting an appointment through a handful of county websites: Travis, Hays, Williamson and Bastrop.

Sites for Travis, Williamson and Bastrop allowed Jala to get put on a waitlist on Sunday. Hays County, however, did not.

Williamson County’s website reflects the state’s new eligibility guidelines.

“For the age group 65 and older, we’ve officially vaccinated 80% of that group with at least one shot,” said Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell. “For 16 and above, we’ve vaccinated 38%.”

Gravell said in Williamson County, more than 320,000 people are already on the waitlist, and he said staff has kept it organized.

“I don’t expect opening to age 16 and above groups is going to affect us,” Gravell said.

Bastrop County Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes said they’re getting people shots within 30 to 40 minutes, and to come only when you have an appointment is the best way to keep the process smooth for everyone.

According to Walkes, 17% of Bastrop’s total population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Walkes said 50% of educators have been vaccinated.

“I think in the end we’re going to have a more effective system and greater accessibility,” Walkes said.

The state launched its COVID-19 vaccine scheduling[5] website Monday. Once you sign up, you’ll receive a text message or an email that gives details on where to get the vaccine near you.

According to DSHS, it expects a demand that is more than vaccine supply for the next few weeks. 

Jala Washington


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