“It was heartwarming to see the doctors and nurses who received this vaccine just yesterday or the day before literally break out in tears as they knew that they were going to receive a medication that was going to protect their lives,” Abbott said.
“Everybody owes a debt of gratitude to these doctors and nurses who have been on the front line for months now — the warriors at the tip of the spear.”
The distribution is part of the federal Operation Warp Speed, a cooperation between federal health-related agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and private firms to craft and deliver the vaccine.
The 95,000 doses have been delivered to 23 sites throughout Texas. A release from the governor’s office states that nearly 130,000 more doses will be delivered today. A list of the full 110 current providers may be found here.
Although only 110 providers have received the vaccine as of today, there are “more than 7,000 providers [hospitals and medical schools] lined up, prepared to distribute this once they receive the medicine” according to Abbott.
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (THHS) likewise announced that hospital workers from Wichita Falls to San Antonio have received shipments of the vaccine.
“The Texas Health and Human Services Commission today announced it received the first shipments of COVID-19 vaccine for state hospitals in Austin, San Antonio, Terrell and Wichita Falls,” the THHS press release reads.
“State hospital staff were among the first health care providers in Texas to be administered the vaccine.”
The Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel, a board of legislators and medical leaders appointed by the state, calls the shots on which hospitals and health care facilities get the vaccine first. The three lawmakers on the panel are State Sens. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) and Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville) as well as State Reps. Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth) and Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston). Other members include medical academics, such as deans and chancellors from the University of Texas and Texas A&M, and local public health directors. The panel makes recommendations to the Texas Commissioner of Health.
Abbott also said that he will authorize no more pandemic shutdowns.
“No, we will not have any more shutdowns in Texas,” the governor said.