Governor Greg Abbott announced on Wednesday that the Centers for Disease Control and Provision (CDC) made “an initial allotment of over 1.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines to the State of Texas for the month of December.”
The news release from Abbott said that the vaccines would begin arriving in two weeks during the week of December 14 and that they would be distributed to qualifying health providers.
Further allotments would be made in the months to come, and potentially this month as well, according to the governor’s office.
“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 Abbott. “As we await the first shipment of these vaccines, we will work with communities to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”
At a national level, the government hopes to distribute 40 million vaccines by the end of the year.
In a statement last week, Abbott said that the distribution of the vaccines would follow several guiding principles developed by the state’s Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel (EVAP) under the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
The EVAP guidelines lay out the priorities the state is using to determine who will be the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccinations.
“This foundation for the allocation process will help us mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, protect the most vulnerable Texans, and safeguard crucial state resources,” said Abbott.
Based on the guidelines, the first people in the state to receive the vaccines will be doctors and nurses, especially those dealing directly with coronavirus patients, and staff in long-term care facilities.
In addition to health care workers, the EVAP guidelines state the following priorities:
- 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.
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