This column represents the thoughts and opinions of Jason Hennington. This is NOT the opinion of the Taylor Press.
Me: Good morning Taylor Press.
Caller: I heard there was a place to get a vaccine in Taylor. Is that true?
Me: Give me second.
Caller: You’re supposed to know this already. Why didn’t you put it in the paper? Everyone doesn’t have a computer.
Me: Yes, ma’am I’m looking to see . . .
Caller: (Cutting me off) How come you don’t know? Didn’t the county or the health district all and tell you?
Me: No ma’am they did not.
Caller: Oh (surprised). I’m sorry, I thought they would let you know.
Me: Me too.
There have been some vaccine sites here in Taylor over the past couple of weeks. The first was at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in south Taylor. Posts on social media tipped us off to it. After reaching out to the city and the county, we were redirected to the Williamson County and Cities Health District (WCCHD), which is headquartered in Round Rock, but also has a health center around the corner from our office.
Another vaccine site was set up at the WCCHD on March 18. We found out because a customer came into the office who had just come from getting a vaccine. The information about the site from March 22-25 came from a tweet from the Health District. It was shared on social media, and we confirmed the information before we published it. To our knowledge, we did not receive any direct communication about this past week’s vaccination prior to the event.
That is a problem.
When there were testing sites in Taylor, we received emails and sometimes received a call from the city or the county. With that communication, we publicized the testing sites in our community. So, why not do the same with vaccine sites?
I understand that there are a limited number of vaccines available, but shouldn’t everyone be notified when they are available?
The world is changing, and utilizing social media is good practice. But, the people who probably need the vaccine the most still read the paper.
I understand there is a waitlist and certain criteria for people to get vaccinations. However, the most recent vaccine site was “walk-up, no appointment necessary,” so we could have helped get the word out. Even if it is an email that appointments are needed or if it’s only a targeted group, we should know just in case we get calls like the one above, and then we can respond appropriately.
The Taylor Press can and should be an asset for the Health District, the city and the county. I feel like we have a good relationship with all three entities, but something slipped through the cracks with this situation.
I’m going to get off my soapbox now and go see who the Spurs can sign since we bought out LaMarcus Aldridge.
“A newspaper is the center of a community, it's one of the tent poles of the community, and that's not going to be replaced by Web sites and blogs.”
- Michael Connelly