Vaccinating Texas: As Access Opens Up, Your Stories Help Demonstrate How It’s Working

Texas is opening vaccine registration to everyone over the age of 16 on Monday. Texas Standard has been tracking the rollout through listener-submitted stories.

By Laura RiceMarch 26, 2021 1:54 pm,

Texas Standard is collecting stories from across the state about individual journeys to getting COVID-19 vaccinations. We want to hear the positive as well as the negative. If you’re currently eligible or are trying to secure a vaccine for an eligible loved one, share your story here.

With a project as big as vaccinating Texas, it’s challenging to determine how it’s really working. Numbers are one way to look at it. About 11% of Texans are fully vaccinated; 22% have had at least one shot. State numbers show counties with smaller populations typically have better vaccination rates – but the individual stories don’t always match that.

SEE MORE: Texas Standard’s Vaccinating Texas, Part One

Sofia Parent, 67, Pflugerville: Still waiting

“I have asthma and I don’t want to get sick, I don’t want my grandkids to get sick … and I’ve been waiting; I’ve been registered in so many, many places and nobody had called me, and also I have been looking around and everybody’s booked.”

Parent says since leaving this message, she has been able to secure an appointment in a nearby city.


Lisa Low, 57, Lubbock: First dose

“I wanted to get the COVID-19 vaccine because I am in the classroom several times a week at Texas Tech. I followed the instructions to sign up online. It was a very, very simple process through the civic center. I obtained an appointment, showed up at my scheduled time and I was in and out of the civic center in 30 minutes. It was an amazing process; so efficient, so easy and I felt very comfortable every step of the way.”

SEE MORE: Texas Standard’s Vaccinating Texas, Part Two

Grace Slayter, 26, Dallas: First dose

Grace was eligible under Phase 1B because of preexisting conditions. She’d heard about long waits at Dallas’ vaccine megasite at Fair Park, but says for her, the process of signing up for and then getting her vaccine was quick and easy.

“I just waited in my car for an hour. I was pretty nice and smooth, actually. Listened to the Texas Standard while I was waiting. So it was nice to just drink my coffee.”

Cheryl Bakhtiari, 66, Austin: Vaccinated

Bakhtiari was vaccinated through a COVID-19 vaccine trial. She recently retired as a paramedic. She spent a lot of time towards the end of her career caring for people with COVID-19. Now, she’s been helping people to not get the virus.

“I have been able to volunteer my time so far at four different vaccination events, both here in Austin and in Houston. So, today I’ve given around 700 and some vaccinations myself, both of Pfizer and Moderna. … I really only want people to know one thing: just because you get the vaccine doesn’t mean you can stop wearing a mask. We still need to keep wearing masks because we don’t know what we don’t know.”

Nicole LeBlanc, 57, Dallas: Vaccinated

“I am a travel adviser, which means that I have had a rough year in terms of my business. I have filled some of my unexpected extra time since late January as a volunteer at the Dallas County vaccine hub at Fair Park.”

But she’s seen the greatest need in helping people get registered.

“I’m part of a vaccine finders group on Facebook for the Dallas area, and I have used the knowledge that I’ve gained through that group or through my personal connections to help at least 20 people get vaccinated.”

She says it started as her Lenten mission, but she’ll probably keep doing it for some time to come.

SEE MORE: Texas Standard’s Vaccinating Texas, Part Three.

Martha Frazier, 34, Austin: First dose

Monique B., 38, San Antonio: Vaccinated

Jacqueline D., 85, San Antonio: First dose

Dallas Schwab, 26, Dallas: Vaccinated

Scott Riggle, 30, Plano: Vaccinated

Jamie Baird, 40, El Paso: First dose

Elida and Wilfredo Torres, 70s, Austin: Vaccinated

Luke Stonecipher, 29, Austin: Vaccinated

SEE MORE: Texas Standard’s Vaccinating Texas, Part Four.

Max Weiss, 93, Austin: Vaccinated

Edwina Baethge, 77, San Marcos: Vaccinated

Tom Phillips, 67, Austin: First dose

Margaret, 76, Austin: First dose

Albert Scherbarth, 66, Dallas County: Vaccinated

Linda Cuellar, 66, Pipe Creek: Vaccinated

Lori Jacques, 39, El Paso: Vaccinated

Oscar and Sue, 80s, Dallas County: Vaccinated

Doug Ramey, 60, Fort Worth: Vaccinated

Take us through your experience – positive or negative. You can record your story directly for the radio here.

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