LUBBOCK, Texas — Every week, frontline workers from across the Hub City have been working hard to deliver thousands of vaccines to folks in Lubbock. Thanks to that hard work, Lubbock now ranks as the third best city in the United States for delivering the most vaccines per capita, based on data gathered from Georgetown, Harvard and Stanford.
City leaders explained that this wouldn’t be possible without a great team effort from so many dedicated partners like the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, Lubbock Fire Rescue, local school districts and even more.
One vaccine recipient said going to get his vaccine at the Civic Center made him realize how well-organized the process was.
“They get it. They understand how to put together a system that integrates and works,” said Steve Lee Robinson.
Robinson and his wife showed up for a walk-in appointment at the Civic Center and within 30 minutes, they got their doses and were headed home.
“It’s not an easy thing to do,” said Robinson. “They’re really doing something that’s quite complicated and they’re making it as easy as it can be.”
All that organization takes a lot of coordination and requires patience and teamwork from everyone involved.
“We weren’t necessarily planning to be a vaccine hub until a couple of weeks ago,” said Lubbock’s Director of Public Health, Katherine Wells. “So it took a lot of coordination and very quick standing up.”
Between a number of community partners coming together, they made it all work. Mayor Dan Pope said that for other cities who might be struggling to find a good system, communication is key.
“More than anything else, just communicating about what we know and what the supply looks like for this week, but also what our plans are when we start to get more supply.” said Mayor Pope.
Collaboration has also helped the city to work out bugs that have popped up along the way – like the initial issues with call volume and scheduling appointments.
“Our city IT department and our telecommunications was able to move all of our phone lines over,” said Wells. “They were able to increase the number of people that can stay in our call queue. So we can now have 50 people on hold. We are also able to triple the number of staff that are answering phones during those high volume times.”
As soon as more vaccines are available they’ll continue getting those doses out efficiently with their supportive network of community partners.
“It truly is a community effort and probably, that’s probably why we’re a little bit better than everybody, because we know how to throw together and and, you know, pull together,” said Mayor Pope. “It’s really where we don’t care who gets credit. We’re trying to do what’s best for Lubbockites and West Texas.”