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Texans Are Getting Inoculated Against COVID-19 But Distribution Has Been Marred By Shortages, Confusion. What's Next?

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A volunteer is injected an experimental Chinese coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine in Kocaeli
Murad Sezer/REUTERS
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A health worker injects an experimental Chinese coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine to volunteer and doctor Naim Celik as Turkey began final Phase III trials at Kocaeli University Research Hospital in Kocaeli, Turkey September, 25, 2020. REUTERS/Murad Sezer - RC2L5J9E9C0H

Doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were already in short supply and now even more people are eligible to get inoculated. Available slots fill up soon after they're announced, but logistical hurdles have impeded efforts and caused confusion in communities across Texas.

According to the state health agency's online dashboard, Texas had only administered about 35% of its 1.3 million available doses as of Jan. 7.

According to San Antonio leaders, approximately 60 percent of area residents — about 1 million people — are eligible for vaccination in phases 1A and 1B, but the health department had only received 50,000 doses as of last week.

More than 39,000 have received a first shot and are awaiting the second dose, which is necessary for full protection against COVID-19.

About 200,000 more doses are expected to arrive in the state this week, with most going to large “vaccination hubs” capable of inoculating up to 100,000 people.

The Alamodome will serve as a mass vaccination site in San Antonio and is expected to administer up to 1,500 doses per day starting Monday. City officials announced plans Friday afternoon and all available slots were filled in a matter of minutes.

What's the latest on state and local vaccination rollouts? Have distribution issues been rehabbed? Are there other significant challenges?

How long is the full rollout now expected to take? How many people need to get vaccinated for it to be effective?

Guests:

  • Cayla Harris, reporter covering state politics for Hearst's Austin bureau
  • Laura Garcia, health care reporter for the San Antonio Express-News
  • Dr. Robert Leverence, chief medical officer for UT Health San Antonio

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Monday, January 11.