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Southeast Texas officials pushing for mass COVID-19 vaccination site

Mass COVID-19 vaccination hubs are set up across the state, but Southeast Texas is left off the list.

BEAUMONT, Texas — Major metropolitan areas across Texas now have access to something our region is missing. Mass COVID-19 vaccination hubs are set up across the state, but Southeast Texas is left off the list.  

This week, nearly 160,000 doses were sent to 28 cities. The goal is to get as many Texans the shot of hope as quickly as possible. A big issue is the limited supplies in our area, but there are still a few things you can do in the meantime.

“I think it's difficult for our citizens to watch the news...To see these hubs throughout the state, and then to try to understand why we don't have one here,” said Sherry Ulmer, director at the Beaumont Public Health Department.

Ulmer said rural regions like Southeast Texas are getting the short end of the stick when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines.

“We want it because if we did have it, we would be giving it out because it's what we do everyday,” Ulmer said.

QUESTION: How do you go about getting your hands on the vaccine if you qualify, and where do you go?

First, grab your computer or smartphone and head over to the State Department of Health Services vaccine availability map.

There’s a map on the website that will tell you who has shots and who doesn't. For example, in Beaumont, the vaccine is only available at four locations.

Once you've identified a location, if you're in phase 1a or 1b, you must register for an appointment.

In Hardin County, Judge Wayne McDaniel is making things a little easier for his residents.

“They can send an email to the Hardin County Health Department. We've got an email setup for vaccine registration,” McDaniel said.

QUESTION: What should I include in the email?

In the email you want to include your name, date of birth and a cell phone number.

“If they have any type of medical condition that they would like to include, such as if somebody you know has immune problems or anything diabetic or anything like that,” McDaniel said.

While options may be limited right now, local leaders say they won’t stop until Southeast Texans have more access to this life-saving drug.

“We're fighting to get it for our citizens; it's just the right thing to do,” Ulmer said.

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