Assisted living facility in Katy scrambling to get second dose of COVID-19 vaccine in time

KATY, Texas (KTRK) — Gov. Greg Abbott claims it’s taking too long to get vaccines to nursing homes and long-term care facilities in Texas through the federal program in partnership with CVS and Walgreens.

This week, Abbott said only a small fraction of the 487,500 vaccine doses dedicated to nursing homes and long-term care facilities have been administered, and more than 410,000 doses have not been reported or have not been given to the facilities as of Sunday.

“If I was going to wait on the state to give me a vaccine, we would still be waiting,” said Janet Oldag, owner of Veranda House, an assisted living facility in Katy.

Oldag said she was persistent and went through every known channel to get her staff and residents at two different living facilities on the list to receive the vaccine. She said a local and independent pharmacy administered and supplied the first doses, and now they are waiting on the second shipment.

RELATED: COVID-19 vaccine distributed to Houston-area nursing homes

“Now, I’m working again and trying to call in favors and calling everyone I know to get the second dose,” Oldag said. “Because, right now, there is no second dose and it’s very frustrating because I have pumped this up to do vaccines. Everyone agreed to do them and I think it’s great that we did them, but now we need the second one to really try to open up again.”

Alton Kanak, owner and pharmacist at Katy Medical Pharmacy, said his pharmacy received 100 doses and administered them to the Veranda House and another care facility. He said he believes the problem is that the limited vaccine supply that is being distributed at one time and rural communities have less access to the supply.

“It’s been frustrating,” Kanak said. “We have no problem with giving the immunizations. Our problem is receiving the vaccine.”

Kanak said he has 800 patients waiting on the waiting list for the first dose and 100 waiting for the second dose.

Terri Bennet, resident at Veranda House assisted living, said she was one of the first on the list to receive the first dose.

“Take the vaccine. Get it!” Bennet said. “It’s a way to a better future. You know it’s bound to be better than what we’ve had, so go line up for that vaccine.”

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