ARLINGTON, Texas (KXAN) — Gov. Greg Abbott toured the Arlington Expo Center mass COVID-19 vaccination site in the Dallas-Fort Worth area on Monday, and says the “easy” and seamless process at that site will now serve as a model for other sites going forward.
The Governor explained the state of vaccines as they are now.
Vaccines in Texas: By the numbers
Vaccines distributed: 1,580,400 doses shipped to providers.*
Doses administered: 802,507. This includes 83,538 second doses.
Doses given but not yet reported or waiting to be given: 777,897 doses.
Doses provided for nursing/long-term care facilities: 487,500 doses. This includes 75,312 doses provided to CVS and Walgreens for distribution to these facilities. *NOTE: The 487,500 nursing facility doses are NOT counted among the 1,580,400 doses shipped to providers. The nursing/long-term care doses were distributed completely separately and counted on their own.
Doses for nursing/long-term care residents either given but not yet reported or waiting to be given: 412,188 doses.
ALL doses combined: 2,067,900 doses provided by the state of Texas.
ALL doses given: 877,815 patients who have received either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
Abbott noted these numbers change on a daily basis, so Texans may see different numbers at different parts of the day. Additionally, Abbott said fluctuating numbers are affected by lag time in reporting and by providers who have mistakenly held second doses, rather than just using vaccines as they come in. Abbott noted: second doses should be given as providers’ vaccine inventory is replenished — they not be held aside and not given in the meantime.
Abbott said the speed of state vaccinations is “swift” and that while CVS and Walgreens’ distribution speed is slower, they are expected to increase their pace.
According to Abbott, each week this month, Texas is expected to receive:
310 first doses
320,000-500,000 second doses
These numbers don’t include doses for nursing/long-term care facilities.
The Texas Department of State Health Services previously announced the state would direct most of the COVID-19 vaccine it received from the federal government this week to large providers, which the agency called “hubs” — the Arlington site is one of them.
The agency stated these hubs must be able to vaccinate more than 100,000 people and provide the vaccine to people who are at greater risks of hospitalization and death, as well as front-line health care workers. That includes those in groups 1A and 1B.
Texas to prioritize COVID-19 vaccine for large vaccination hubs
Texas DSHS identified 28 large vaccination hub providers across the state where people sign up online to receive a shot or possibly be placed on a waiting list to get one when vaccines become more available. The two sites in the Austin area include the Bell County Public Health District and Austin Public Health.
“Each of these facilities will provide thousands of vaccines every single day, making the process far quicker and far more efficient,” Abbott said.
In addition to the 28 large hubs, there are also 206 smaller locations in smaller communities around the state, Abbott explained.
Providers in 104 counties will be receiving vaccines this week.
“I can tell you that residents of all 254 counties in the state of Texas have been vaccinated and we work every single day on strategies to ensure there will be a fair and equal distribution of vaccines to every region across the state of Texas,” the Governor said.
COVID-19 surge in Texas
Following the holidays, the state is experiencing another surge in new COVID-19 cases and a serious strain on hospitals, medical workers and first responders. On Sunday Trauma Service Area O, which includes 2.3 million people in the Austin area, reached the COVID-19 hospitalization rate that automatically triggered additional restrictions for the area under state guidelines.
Under these new restrictions, which went into effect Sunday, businesses and retail establishments in the Austin area must reduce their operations to 50% occupancy. Per state rules, hospitals must also stop elective surgeries must across the area.
Austin is now joining the major municipalities across Texas on the state’s list of areas with high hospitalization numbers. As COVID-19 hospitalizations surge statewide, Trauma Service Areas in Amarillo, Abilene, Lubbock, Dallas/Fort Worth, Paris, Longview, Lufkin, El Paso, Belton, Killeen, El Paso, Waco, Bryan/ College Station, San Antonio, Houston, Galveston, Victoria, Laredo, and the Rio Grande Valley are also on the state’s list for these added restrictions.
‘Never before in the history of this state’
Abbott praised the state’s rollout of vaccines, explaining that it’s been just over a month since the first vaccine was authorized for emergency use and since Christmas week that the second has been approved.
During the tour Monday in Arlington, Gov. Abbott was joined by Dr. John Hellerstedt, the DSHS commissioner, as well as Chief Nim Kidd with the Texas Division of Emergency Management. Other leaders will included Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams, Tarrant County Judge B. Glen Whitley and Texas Health Resources CEO Barclay E. Berdan.
“Never before in the history of this state has Texas vaccinated so many people so quickly,” Abbott said. “…when you look at the timeline of what’s been done, all of the vaccines that have been distributed in the state of Texas have all been only over the course of about three-and-a-half weeks.”