HOUSTON, March 28 (Xinhua) — More than one million first doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be shipped to providers across the U.S. state of Texas next week, local media quoted the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) on Sunday.
The department said it is allocating over 800,000 doses to 779 providers in 202 Texas counties. In addition, more than 200,000 additional first doses are expected to be available to pharmacy locations and federally-qualified health centers directly from the federal government.
In addition to the first doses, the state is also ordering 587,950 second doses for people who had first vaccinated weeks ago.
The department said earlier that anyone over the age of 16 will be allowed to get the vaccine in Texas beginning Monday, March 29. But the DSHS has directed providers to prioritize people 80 years and older when scheduling appointments, immediately moving them to the front of the line.
“We are closing in on 10 million doses administered in Texas, and we want to keep up the momentum as the vaccine supply increases,” said Imelda Garcia, chair of the Texas Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel. “As eligibility opens up, we are asking providers to continue to prioritize people who are the most at risk of severe disease, hospitalization and death – such as older adults.”
More than 30 percent of all Texans at least 16 years of age have already received at least one dose.
DSHS figures showed that as of Sunday, there are over 2.38 million confirmed COVID-19 cases in Texas with over 47,000 reported deaths. Enditem