Before an eligible person can be inoculated through the Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Marble Falls COVID-19 vaccine hub, they must first have an account through the healthcare provider, a process that is open to everyone and takes only a few minutes online. They do not have to be a patient of the Marble Falls facility, but they do have to have patience. The newborn system is still working out some kinks, one of those being able to provide clear-cut information on how the system works.
As a hub, Baylor Scott & White-Marble Falls receives state-allocated, federally-provided vaccines to distribute on a weekly basis. So far, the medical center has received 975 vaccines for each of the first two weeks in action — the weeks of Jan. 25 and Feb. 1. Those currently eligible to be vaccinated are healthcare workers, first responders, anyone 65 years of age and older, and those 16 years of age and older with at least one chronic medical condition. Pregnant women are also eligible.
FIRST STEP: Set up an account
Officials will use the information collected through the account to determine a person’s eligibility for the vaccine and schedule an appointment when appropriate and when doses are available.
BY PHONE: The healthcare system has also set up a phone number (844-279-8222) to assist people who need help setting up an account. The phone number is a COVID-19 Information Hotline that will answer questions but is not for scheduling an appointment.
SECOND STEP: Wait to be contacted
Once in the Baylor Scott & White-Marble Falls system, people will be contacted through the app or by phone to set up an appointment based on eligibility and those most at risk of severe illness from COVID-19. The number of vaccines coming into the hub, which serves five counties — Burnet, Llano, Blanco, Mason, and San Saba — is limited.
“If you have the opportunity to get vaccinated at other state-designated hub locations, we encourage you to do so,” reads a notice on the Baylor Scott & White-Marble Falls website. A list of those hubs can be found here.”
The dedicated phone line — 844-279-8222 — is a statewide hotline, which went online Monday, Feb. 1. The system is a little shaky at the moment. A DailyTrib.com reporter called to find out why the form asked for insurance information if the service is free of charge. It took 15 minutes to get an answer, but the person on the other end of the line was dogged in her pursuit of the information.
The answer is that the service is free. For those who do not have insurance, put NA (not applicable) in the response fields. Insurance information is used by the hospital to be reimbursed for the cost of delivering the shot. The actual medicine is provided by the federal government and already paid for by tax dollars through congressional allocations.
THIRD STEP: Receive a vaccination
One good thing about the appointment system being used at Baylor Scott & White is that patients do not have to camp out for hours to receive their shots, which is what happens at first-come, first-served hubs. At a recent Corpus Christi-based hub, 2,500 people were in line by 6 a.m. for shots set to begin at 8 a.m.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Let us know about your experience scheduling and receiving a vaccination in the Highland Lakes. In trying to provide the most accurate and recent information for our readers, we need to know what’s happening here in our hometowns. Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how the system did — or didn’t — work for you.