Texas becomes first state to administer 1 million COVID vaccines


Frontline worker Rachel Brooks gets COVID-19 vaccine from Kristin Petrie at Ascension Seton Dec. 17 (Ascension Texas Photo)

AUSTIN, Texas (KETK) – Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Department of State Health Services announced on Thursday that the state has administered one million COVID-19 vaccines, the first state in the union to reach that mark.

“Texas is leading the way for our nation once again. This is the biggest vaccination effort we have ever undertaken, and it would not be possible without the dedication and tireless efforts of our healthcare workers. We still have a long road ahead of us, but Texans continue to prove that we are up to this challenge.” 

Gov. Greg Abbott

The state is currently vaccinating Texans that are 65 and older with chronic medical conditions as well as offering it voluntarily to healthcare workers and first responders.

On Wednesday, NET Health CEO George Roberts told the Tyler City Council that the fight with COVID-19 is far from over.

“We may be tired of this virus, but it’s not tired of us. This is a team sport now… It’s my job to protect you, but it’s your job to protect others,” said Roberts.

Tyler is close to setting a new record for the number of hospitalizations. Currently, there are 316 patients in Tyler hospitals with the record being 317.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Trauma Service Area that includes Smith, Gregg, and several other East Texas counties has been above 15% for nearly one month. Per Gov. Abbott’s order, businesses cannot operate above 50% capacity until it goes under 15% for seven consecutive days.

Texas is now in its fifth week of distributing vaccines. Dr. Paul McGaha with UT Health told the council that no doses are being left on the shelf like has happened elsewhere across the country.

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