By Ashley Moss
On December 2nd, Governor Greg Abbott announced 1.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be available in Texas this month.
The doses will be shipped to the state by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) beginning the week of December 14.
In November, Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) announced guiding principles for distributing the COVID-19 vaccine.
Due to a limited first supply, vaccines will be given first to health care workers likely to provide direct care for COVID-19 patients and other vulnerable residents, including residents of long-term care facilities.
“The State of Texas is already prepared for the arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine, and will swiftly distribute these vaccines to Texans who voluntarily choose to be immunized,” said Governor Abbott. “As we await the first shipment of these vaccines, we will work with communities to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”
Other factors for future distribution include:
- Protecting health care workers who fill a critical role in caring for and preserving the lives of COVID-19 patients and maintaining the health care infrastructure for all who need it.
- Protecting frontline workers who are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the nature of their work providing critical services and preserving the economy.
- Protecting vulnerable populations who are at greater risk of severe disease and death if they contract COVID-19.
- Mitigating health inequities due to factors such as demographics, poverty, insurance status and geography.
- Data-driven allocations using the best available scientific evidence and epidemiology at the time, allowing for flexibility for local conditions.
- Geographic diversity through a balanced approach that considers access in urban and rural communities and in affected ZIP codes.
- Transparency through sharing allocations with the public and seeking public feedback.
State officials expect the vaccine supply to continually increase in 2021 and will not require proof of Texas residency.