Houstonians say vaccine rollout is like getting 'Willy Wonka's golden ticket'

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Over the last couple of weeks, many have expressed their frustration with trying to get the vaccine if they qualify.

Some have been able to get an appointment, which then has gotten cancelled. Meanwhile, others are calling many vaccine distribution sites, but to no avail.

"[I've] just been going online, going from one site to another site and everything is a dead end," said Barbara Wilhite.

"We're just anxious," said Yvonne Garcia. "[I] haven't hugged or touched [my parents] since last March."

Both women have hit roadblocks in trying to get the vaccine for their elderly parents, who qualify under the state's vaccination distribution Phase 1B guidelines.

"Why is it some people can get it and some people cannot?," said Wilhite.

During ABC13's town hall on the vaccine on Tuesday, we found out why this happening to many people in our area. City and county leaders said basically, the demand is high, but the supply is terribly low.

"There are some cities like New York and Chicago that get direct distribution," explained Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

Right now, the Houston area gets its vaccines from the state, which gets it from the federal government. Turner said he wants to change that.

"I will tell you that a number of mayors, including myself, have written to the Biden administration to give the city a direct distribution and we can do exponentially more," said Turner.

Turner said we receive about 8,000 doses per shipment, but they need 40,000 to 50,000 doses every week.

So while it may be extremely frustrating, city and county leaders hope residents can cope with the inconvenience as they sort it all out.

"It's kind of like Willy Wonka and the golden ticket," said Yvonne Garcia. "This vaccine is the golden ticket."

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