I’ll be the first one to criticize a local official if I believe it is warranted, but local officials are getting raked over the coals regarding the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and there’s no reason for that.

The way the vaccine is being administered across the nation is haphazard, at best, and I can only imagine the confusion when first time vaccine recipients run into those getting their second dose.

Right now your best option is to put your name on a local vaccination list, which was announced last week. It was published in the weekend edition of this newspaper, as well as on our Facebook page and other social media sites, as well.

The Aransas County Medical Services, Inc. (ACMSI) is administering the list.

ACMSI Executive Director Patricia Arnold said the list is populated with more than 5,000 names since its creation last week.

Residents are asked to visit https://forms.gle/kLvfut9h1S7nC2759 to sign up. If a resident does not have access to a computer, he or she should send a letter with his or her name and contact phone number to: Vaccination, Aransas County, 2840 Hwy. 35 N. Rockport, TX 78382.

No government entities are taking information by phone.

(Note: This list is for priorities 1A and 1B only. This program is separate from the vaccinations being offered by local pharmacies and others. This list does not guarantee anyone the vaccine; it simply lets organizers know you need the vaccine.)

As a reminder, residents are not restricted to receiving the vaccine in Aransas County. For information about vaccination sites in Texas, please visit this site maintained by the Texas Departments of Emergency Management and State Health Services - https://www.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html.

My number one suggestion is for everyone to calm down.

People expect a multi-day alert before doses of the vaccine arrive, and that’s just not the way it works. Local officials learn of vaccine delivery about 24 hours before they are delivered.

I know the elderly in our county are scared, and want the vaccine, and should get the vaccine.

However, we must all remain calm.

How did you react after Hurricane Harvey? Were you calm, or did you go nuts blaming everything on somebody who had nothing to do with bringing a natural disaster to our shores? Those who remained calm after the storm fared a lot better because it allowed them to think clearly.

These are trying times, as we all know, but griping at any of our leaders for not doing something about which they have little control, is a bit crazy.

If one has a better idea (not a complaint) than the aforementioned list, share it with one of our elected leaders.

Bloviating on social media accomplishes nothing. Certainly one can see how well that’s worked out for our nation as a whole.

Vaccine distribution isn’t perfect in any city. It’s a cattle call in Corpus Christi and other major cities.

I know I’ll get mine in due time, but others need it first.

My 90-year-old parents live in a nursing home in New Braunfels. My father was supposed to receive the first round of the vaccine in late December, and my mother wasn’t even scheduled to get hers at that time. They both recently got their first round, almost 30 days after my father was originally scheduled to received his first dose.

My point in sharing that information is even in the most controlled environment (a nursing home), the distribution of the vaccine hasn’t been perfect.

Everybody needs to take a deep breath, and think before criticizing someone, just because you are frustrated.

Everyone is frustrated, to some degree.

You aren’t the only person facing this battle.

Until next week, have a good week.

Mike Probst can be reached at publisher@rockportpilot.com.

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