Congressman Tony Gonzales Requests to Designate Medina County a COVID-19 Vaccine Hub

I sent a letter to the Texas Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel on Wednesday requesting to designate Medina County as a COVID-19 vaccination hub.

Vaccine distribution should continue to be our country’s number one priority and that means ensuring that the rural areas of our state have the same access to the vaccine as our big cities. Designating Medina County as a vaccine hub would allow for the area to access and disperse the vaccine in an efficient and timely manner.

Full text of the letter can be read below. For a PDF version, please click here.

COVID-19 Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel

Texas Department of State Health Services

1100 W. 49th Street,

Austin, Texas 78756

Dear Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel,

I respectfully request that Medina Regional Hospital, located in Hondo, Texas, be designated as a COVID-19 vaccination hub. As the pandemic spreads across rural areas in Texas, I am concerned that portions of my congressional district lack adequate access to a vaccine.

This holds true in Medina County where many citizens are either sheltered at home or limited in their ability to travel to a metropolitan area for a vaccine. Compounding that need is a high incidence of chronic conditions in the region.

As a Critical Access Hospital, Medina Regional services 50,000 patients a year and has the capacity to support an effective vaccine rollout. It has at its disposal a 2,300 square foot facility that stands ready to be converted into a hub. Adjacent to this building is an emergency room that is staffed with physicians at all hours on every day of the week. 

Additionally, refrigerators and freezers have been ordered to house large doses of vaccines, and sufficient parking is available to deploy a drive-through clinic as needed. Part time staff have been recruited to manage the process of scheduling and paperwork, and RN staff can be utilized to administer injections. If deemed a hub, Medina Regional estimates a vaccination rate of 200-300 citizens per day. 

Finally, Medina Regional can rely on the full support of the county judge, mayors, county trauma coordinators, county disaster director, and health nurses in the area, all of which are ready to partner in this endeavor. The hospital has also partnered with a local HEB Pharmacy, in addition to coordinating with local law enforcement for traffic control.  

Please consider this request to designate Medina Regional Hospital as vaccination hub. Thank you for your dedication to promoting a healthy Texas. If you have any questions, please contact my District Director, Michael Blair.


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