There are no plans to send any vaccine to Lamar County or any other nearby rural counties. It is time for us to act and explain this is not acceptable to our state’s leaders.
Send letters to:
Imelda Garcia, MPH
Associate Commissioner for Laboratory and Infectious Disease Services
Texas Department of State Health Services
1100 West 49th Street
Austin, Texas 78756-3199
Texas Division of Emergency Management
P.O. Box 15467
Austin, Texas 78761
Senator Ted Cruz
127A Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Main: (512) 916-5834
Senator John Cornyn
517 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428
Texas Representative Gary VanDeaver
P.O. Box 2910
Austin, TX 78768
e-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
Sample letter, feel free to copy and paste.
Dear Commissioner Garcia and Chief Kid,
We learned yesterday that Lamar County would not be receiving additional doses of the vaccine soon. I am writing to you today to reconsider and consider that our poverty rate is very high in our rural communities, and access to transportation is deficient. We feel the decision to send the vaccines to hubs in high-density populations only will result in those living in poverty in rural areas left out of the opportunity to receive the vaccine.
I understand that the Paris Lamar County Health District has support from the City of Paris, Lamar County, and our Emergency Management system. They operate a large scale COVID vaccination hub that could serve Lamar, Fannin, Red River, and Delta Counties. Their team has worked together in mass COVID testing and flu vaccination programs in the past. While flu shots are much less paperwork and observation-intensive than the COVID vaccine, they have hosted flu shot clinics, immunizing 400 people in a day. The Lamar County Health District gave their 200 allocated doses in two days and is fully prepared to provide at least 1,000 a week with the help of our very concerned city, county, emergency management, law enforcement partners, and our local nonprofit social service network.
I also understand that the Paris Regional Medical Center received the 800 Moderna COVID immunizations and prioritized immunizing front-line health care providers. The hospital fully supports the Paris Lamar County Health District taking the lead in further new COVID vaccination coordination in our regional healthcare area.
Without soliciting calls, the Lamar County Health District already has a waiting list of 1,200. It is the ideal hub with the city and county’s support to expand vaccination in Northeast Texas, as we already are a regional medical center for the surrounding rural counties. It would resolve a great deal of anxiety that our group 1B over 65 community members are experiencing if they had one place to call and receive directions about obtaining a vaccine.
Thank you for your time and consideration on this matter and for all the work you have done thus far with this unprecedented health care challenge.