First Doses Of COVID-19 Vaccine Begin Arriving In Texas
The first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine began arriving arriving throughout the U.S. on Monday including in Texas, with health care workers first in line to receive the shots.
The Texas Department of State Health Services said 19,500 doses of the vaccine were headed Monday to four sites in Texas: MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Methodist Dallas Medical Center, Wellness 360 at UT Health San Antonio and UT Health Austin’s Dell Medical School.
The Dallas Morning News reported that the first doses arrived at about 8 a.m. Monday at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.
The medical center said they started administering vaccines to healthcare workers around 10:10 a.m. An environment services worker who cleans up the center's emergency room was the first to receive an injection, according to a Methodist Health System representative.
More than 5,000 frontline healthcare workers are expected to receive the first of the two required doses. The first group of workers to receive the vaccine are those who work directly with COVID-19 patients or patients who have a high risk of contracting the virus.
“That includes not only physicians and nurses, but also ancillary staff and technicians, food and environmental services workers, and others who care for patients with COVID-19," said Martin L. Koonsman, Methodist's chief medical officer.
Those who work in emergency departments and critical care units will also be among the first to receive the vaccine.
Jon Albrecht, Methodist's chief pharmacy officer, said the health system has been preparing to receive and administer the vaccine for weeks.
“That includes ensuring we have an ultra-cold, negative 70 degree freezer to safely store and protect at least 10,000 doses at a time, as well as a tiered plan to meet federal and state guidelines for vaccinating our employees as well as medical staff," he said.
Following the arrival of the first doses in Dallas, County Judge Clay Jenkins explained on Twitter that healthcare workers, residents of long-term care facilities, essential workers and those with pre-existing conditions would be prioritized for vaccinations.
Another 75,000 doses of the vaccine were scheduled to be delivered Tuesday to 19 sites in Texas, state officials said, in the largest vaccination campaign in U.S. history.
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