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Houstonians frustrated with COVID-19 vaccine registration process

The state's vaccine rollout is being described as a disorganized mess because some of the most vulnerable don't know how to use the technology required to register.

HOUSTON — There's a high demand for the COVID-19 vaccine in the Houston area and many people who are eligible to get the shot are frustrated with the process.

RELATED: Texas announces additional COVID-19 vaccine hubs in Houston area

It took 95-year-old Herman Sklar two weeks just to schedule an appointment.

"Oh! It's so frustrating," Sonal Shah said. "I don't know how somebody, if they don't have an advocate or if they're not tech-savvy, can do this. It's unbelievably frustrating."


Shah set up her 82-year-old mother's vaccine appointment. She said it took her four weeks to do so. She's a stay-at-home mother who was able to spend hours on the phone and online each day.

"I will say it was, I'll say pure luck. That's all I can think of," she said of finally booking the appointment.

Shah, along with many others, said the state's rollout plan is a disorganized mess because some of those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19, such as the elderly population, don't know how to use the technology required to register for the vaccine.

"She doesn't use technology. She doesn't have email," Marshall Pickett said of his 84-year-old mother.

George Easton said his wife, Jackie, worked for days trying to register for the vaccine all across Southeast Texas but had few positive results. She said she finally landed on a waitlist, but there are 55,000 people in front of her.

There are two ways to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine in Texas -- through your provider or online through the state's vaccination hub.

All of the vaccine doses are funneled from the federal government to the Texas Department of State Health Services, which then distributes them to providers or hubs.

The Houston region is now home to a dozen hubs and more megasites are coming to Harris, Galveston, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Chambers and Washington counties, although details are limited.

UTMB, a new hub in Galveston County, expects to get 4,000 vaccine doses this week. Those shots are for patients who are already on a waiting list. On its website, UTMB said it's still finalizing the location and registration process details.

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