Hays County announced Jan. 18 it would become one of the vaccination hubs the state of Texas is organizing to administer the coronavirus vaccine. The county received word of the change from the Department of State Health Services on Jan. 16.

The county also said it expected to receive roughly 1,900 doses of the vaccine this week. A state official put the number of doses at 1,950.

"The state has changed our status to a hub status, but to me, and I'm not being negative, that doesn't mean anything until I get vaccines," Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra said during a Jan. 18 Zoom call with reporters.

Becerra was unmoved by the designation, and instead said he was more interested in the number of vaccine doses the county had to distribute. He said a small distribution of vaccines was received the previous week, which did not last long.

"I was told that we received 300 vaccines; that, of course, evaporated like a drop of water on hot concrete," Becerra said.

Details on how the vaccines were administered were limited, but the judge said they went to people who qualify under the state's 1A and 1B definitions of those eligible for the vaccine at this time.

"Our population is nearly 300,000; I'll approximate that we are at 300,000, and for all intents and purposes we have received no vaccines," Becerra said.

Tammy Crumley, director of the Hays County Local Health Department, said in a news release it could be weeks before more substantial deliveries of the vaccine arrive and vaccinations of the larger population begins.

“Right now, the vaccine supply is limited, and HCLHD must follow the state’s established protocols,” she said. “As the supply becomes more available from manufacturers, hubs such as HCLHD will be prepared to help get a vaccine to everyone who wants it, but that will take time.”

A web portal to register for the vaccine will soon become available on the county's emergency notification website.

“Our office is implementing a vaccine registration system so that once we have the doses available, we will begin scheduling appointments,” said Mike Jones, the county's emergency operations director, in the news release.

Becerra predicted the vaccines would go quickly once available.

"Once we have vaccines in our possession, we will shout it from the mountaintops. We will tell the community in every way we know how, 'Vaccines are here, and our portal is open, and register,'" Becerra said. "Within 48 hours, I promise you that they will all be spoken for. That's just the demand that we are seeing.