ROCKWALL, Texas — Excitement over the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines is tempered across Texas with the realization that the arrival of that vaccine will be a slow, methodical process.
The lines at the COVID-19 testing site at Rockwall's Lake Pointe Church prove residents here are as concerned about COVID-19 as anywhere else.
A Facebook post from the Rockwall Mayor shows some of that angst too. He complains that the city had received only 1,300 doses of vaccine so far and that "at this rate, it will take 254 weeks to make it available to everyone in Rockwall County."
"Extremely frustrating. I feel like it was rolled out kind of chaotically," said Karly Sherard, a Rockwall County resident who has a specific reason to be worried about that slow rollout.
She is already in her own life and death struggle. She is a Stage IV breast cancer survivor. She wants her shot at the vaccine and she would like it now.
"The fear and the risk is not worth it because I'd rather stay safe and have a lot more years of memories. And I'm not trying to win cancer to lose to COVID," Sherard said. "And so the vaccine means life and living without fear."
Concern over the slow delivery of vaccines is a widespread complaint across Texas, among residents and among leaders in multiple suburban and rural counties contacted by WFAA.
Understanding that state-wide concern, the Texas Hospital Association, speaking for 450 hospitals and medical providers across the state, is preaching patience.
The THA recommends checking online with your doctor, local hospital, local pharmacy, or local health department first, understand that vaccines will only be available in limited quantities and that "vaccinations for certain populations, especially health care providers and first responders, take precedence."
THA also recommends checking your eligibility on the Texas Department of State Health Services' Vaccine Web page while understanding that there will likely be regional differences in supply.
Do not, THA says, just show up at a hospital or health care provider expecting to receive a vaccine.
"We're all very excited about this vaccine and we can all start to see the light at the end of the tunnel," said Texas Hospital Association spokesperson Carrie Williams. "But in order to get there we need to remain calm and we need to be educated about where the vaccine is and where it isn't."
But patience, understandably, is difficult if you're someone like Karly Sherard.
"I understand the need for the health care workers and that's honestly, definitely should be the priority. But I'm ready for my turn also."
A turn that people wait impatiently for, wherever in Texas they might be.