BASTROP, Texas — A Bastrop County couple got the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine six weeks ago from Austin Public Health, but now they are afraid they won't get an appointment for their second dose in time.
"My son, he kept saying, 'I can't tell you how happy I am that you got the shots,'" said Kathleen Ellisor. "It's making me cry because, you know, we were so happy to get that first shot."
Excitement for the Ellisor family has turned to frustration now that six weeks have gone by without getting the second dose from Austin Public Health.
"When they gave us this card, they said, 'Don't call us, we'll call you,' and/or text us," said Kathleen Ellisor. "We've got no text, no emails and we gave both our phone numbers and both of our emails."
Kathleen and Earl Ellisor said after no update from APH, they tried to get their booster shots in Bastrop County where they live, but were told APH had to administer it because the department gave them their first shot.
"I'm more annoyed, like she said, that something's wrong," said Earl Ellisor. "I'm annoyed that their system is set up in kind of a patchwork manner."
During a press conference on Friday, APH Director Stephanie Hayden-Howard said the department is behind with vaccinations due to the historic winter storm.
"If you have not heard from us, we have implemented a process with 311," said Hayden-Howard. "You can definitely give them a call and let them know you would like to receive a call about your second vaccine and our staff will give you a call."
According to the CDC, the second dose should be administered as close to the recommended interval as possible, which is four weeks for Moderna's vaccine, but the CDC allows a six-week grace period.
Now that the six-week grace period is coming to an end for the 75-year-old grandparents, the distance between them and their eight grandchildren is painfully growing beyond 6 feet.
"So I just feel like we've fallen through the cracks," said Kathleen Ellisor.
Hayden-Howard also mentioned APH will soon start scheduling the second dose during the first vaccination appointments. It is unclear when this process will start.
If you are like the Ellisor family and do not live in Travis County but got your first dose with APH and need the second dose soon, call 512-974-2000 instead of 311 to get help. If you live in Austin, call 311.
APH also recommends checking your spam for an email from APH or your voicemail for a message to make sure you do not miss the scheduling opportunity.
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