WEBXTRA: Dallas couple gets COVID-19 vaccine in East Texas; struggled to find available doses in metroplex

Couple drives to East Texas to get vaccinated
The couple jumped at the opportunity to get the vaccine in Tyler after hearing about it from a friend.
Updated: Jan. 13, 2021 at 4:22 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - It seems people from other parts of the state are traveling to East Texas to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

A Dallas couple traveled to the UT Health Science Center in Tyler on Wednesday to get their first dose after struggling to find a location closer to home.

“Dallas was so difficult to get an appointment,” said Debra Paden-Levy. “We’re on a list and they said there were 100,000 other people on that list.

The couple jumped at the opportunity to get the vaccine in Tyler after hearing about it from a friend.

“We really want to see our two kids we haven’t seen in about a year,” she said. “It’s the longest we’ve ever gone without seeing our children.”

The couple attempted to get a vaccine at a North Texas drug store last week, but passed on it after learning their second dose couldn’t be guaranteed.

The couple then looked to East Texas and says their experience in Tyler was pleasant.

“And there’s a Dairy Queen across from the hospital, so we just went out for lunch,” Mr. Levy said jokingly.

The state doesn’t have any geographic restrictions for where residents can get vaccinated.

We’ll have more on this couple’s experience and an update on local vaccine distribution tonight on KLTV 7 News at 6.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Service, this week Texas directed most COVID-19 vaccines received to large sites or hubs around the state to vaccinate more than 100,000 people.

  • The goal of this plan is to provide more people the vaccine and a simpler way to sign up for an appointment.
  • Providers will focus on vaccinating areas and populations hardest hit by COVID-19.

If you are in Phase 1 and eligible to receive the vaccine, please check the COVID‑19 Vaccination Hub Providers page to find a hub near you and learn how to register.

Alternately, you can also check the websites of vaccine providers listed on the Texas COVID‑19 Vaccine Availability map to see if they have enough vaccine supply at this time.


  • Do not show up at a hospital or clinic looking for vaccine.
  • Instead please check their website for information about vaccine availability.
  • Call only if the website doesn’t answer your questions.

Vaccine hubs aim to provide more vaccines quicker and easier. Texas vaccine supply is limited (but more arrives every week) and it will take time to vaccinate all.

Click here for a link to the state’s website with more information on vaccination providers in Texas.

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