10% of rural Texas hospitals haven't received any COVID-19 vaccine doses

Ten percent of rural hospitals in Texas haven't received any COVID-19 vaccine doses as of Jan. 14, CNN reported. 

Out of the state's 157 rural hospitals, 16 haven't received any doses, Don McBeath, director of government relations for the Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals told CNN. Of those 16, 15 have been able to get some of their staff vaccinated by using doses from neighboring providers or pharmacies.  

"There's been a very high level of frustration for a number of weeks with many of the rural hospitals in Texas, because they were watching the state move into the general public category, administering vaccine, yet we had so many rural hospitals that have not even been able to receive any for their front-line employees," Mr. McBeath told CNN.

Hospitals must have an application approved by the Texas Department of State Health Services before they're allowed to receive vaccines. The department told CNN that some hospitals are still working on their applications. 

Don Bates, CEO of Golden Plains Community Hospital in Borger, told CNN he's tried to submit the application for his hospital at least a dozen times. 

"When you're on the computer with an application, and they request yet another revision, that kicks you into a loop of waiting 14 more business days," he said. 

Mr. McBeath told CNN that if rural hospitals have staff sick or quarantining, they often don't have enough employees to keep the hospital open 24 hours.

"That's why we've pleaded to the state, over and over, to make the rural hospitals a priority — to figure out a way to make it work," he told CNN

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