Younger Texans are helping older family members get COVID-19 vaccine

Monday, February 8, 2021
Vaccine demand continues to far outstrip supply in Texas
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Many who qualify in the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution said they are having a hard time getting the vaccine. Hear from a Houston man who is helping his 80-year-old mom on the hunt to find a vaccine.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas -- Jackie Tidwell is among a growing number of adult children and grandchildren helping older family members get access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Tidwell, a content designer for a major tech company in Seattle, made it her mission to get her 90-year-old grandfather in Corpus Christi vaccinated all the way from her home 2,300 miles away.

But, after attempting to navigate the local sign-up portal, ultimately all it took was a phone call to get retired Cmdr. David Gallegos Jr. - whom Tidwell adoringly calls "Pops" - the information he needed to get his first dose.

Tidwell said she has a big Texas heart so in order to fill it back up she has to visit often, except that's been hard to do during the pandemic.

She said her close family members have been very good about staying indoors, and for Christmas she had a special gift for her family.

"I just thought about my grandfather being by himself," she said. "My gift to my family was getting my grandfather's WiFi connected to his computer so he could get online for video calls."

This came in especially handy later because Tidwell realized that if no one had thought to get her grandfather's WiFi connected, then no one had thought to get him an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine.

"I made it my project on a day," she said.

She coordinated what all was needed in order for him to get his first dose of the vaccine.

You can listen to the full podcast on the Texas Tribune website.

The video above is from a previous story.

The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans - and engages with them - about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.