Texas will receive more than one million first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this week, state health officials said.
“It’s absolutely a big day. It’s something that we’ve been waiting for for the past year. I think everybody’s been waiting for it too,” said Chris Van Deusen, spokesperson for the Texas Dept. of State Health Services.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, the state will distribute more than 818,410 first doses and 587,950-second doses to providers in 202 of the state’s counties. The federal government will send more than 200,000 additional first doses directly to pharmacies and federally-qualified health centers.
“That should continue to increase throughout April so we should be at a million or more doses throughout the foreseeable future, so that’s really going to help us get the rest of the population,” Van Deusen said.
Harris County has nearly 60,000 doses allocated for this week at various facilities. Harris County Public Health and Houston Health Department have 10,000 doses each allocated for this week. Houston Methodist Hospital has more than 17,000 allocated doses. Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center has more than 12,000 allocated doses.
“When we get those vaccines in, we do a randomization selection process, get people registered in, and get them to our sites,” said Mac McClendon, Harris County Public Health spokesperson.
Fort Bend County had more than 10,000 allocated doses.
“I encourage you to register to go to FBChealth.org and based on our availability you will be contacted,” Fort Bend County Judge KP George said.
As of Friday, Texas providers have administered more than 10 million doses of the vaccine, 1.2 million of those administered in the last week. More than 6.8 million people have received at least one dose, and nearly 3.5 million are fully vaccinated.
Among Texas 65 and older, more than six in 10 have received at least one dose, and four in 10 are now fully vaccinated.
All in all, more than 30 percent of all Texans at least 16 years old have received at least one dose.
Those currently eligible for the vaccine include health care workers, long-term care facility residents and staff, Texans 65 and older, and those with medical conditions that put them at greater risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19.
Beginning Monday, all Texans ages 16 and older will be eligible to receive a vaccine.