LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - For many rural communities in deep East Texas, Brookshire Brothers pharmacies seem to be one of the few place to find the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I will say that we were a bit surprised when the allocations came out,” said Laura Edmundson, Director of Clinical Pharmacy Programs for Brookshire Brothers. “We didn’t really know when we were getting them until the last minute, nor did we know we would be some of the only providers that had vaccine available to the public.”
With a limited supply and increasing demand, Edmundson said pharmacists are working to keep up.
“It’s getting to the point where the names on the list exceeds the doses available, so in many locations we’ve stopped taking names temporarily just until our vaccine supply can be finished,” she said.
Something unique to rural areas: the fact that there’s a smaller number of healthcare workers. Edmundson said this allows some of their small town pharmacies to get to those over 65 and with chronic health conditions, faster than in larger communities.
“Our Lufkin locations are still very much in the middle of phase 1A. Trying to get through those people and any facilities, long-term care facilities, that need vaccine. But on the other hand, some of our smaller communities that have less health care workers or less people in 1A are able to finish that up and move onto 1B.”
Edmundson is hoping for larger allocations in the weeks ahead, as their pharmacies work to vaccinate not only those in future phases, but also offer the second dose to those already vaccinated.
Who can be vaccinated now?
At this time, Brookshire Brothers is following the state’s priority grouping system by vaccinating the healthcare worker populations and residents of long-term care facilities before moving on to people over the age of 65 and adults with chronic medical conditions.
What steps should I follow to be vaccinated?
If you are a healthcare worker, resident of a long-term care facility, over the age of 65 or an adult with a chronic medical condition, check with your local pharmacy about vaccine availability.* You must schedule an appointment. We will not accept walk-in patients.
What to bring:
*Vaccine availability differs by location. Some locations may experience longer wait times depending on demand and the varying sizes of first-priority groups.