Texas Is Getting More Than 1 Million First Doses Of COVID Vaccines Next Week. That Could Be The New Normal.
State health officials said Texas will be getting more than 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines next week, largely because more doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are available.
Vaccine shipments goes to the state, which then distributes doses to local providers. Vaccines also go straight to pharmacies that are partnering with the federal government. This is only the second time Texas has received more than 1 million doses in a week.
Chris Van Deusen, a spokesperson for the Texas Department of State Health Services, said state officials were told by the federal government that vaccine allotments would start to increase around this time.
“They said doses would start to increase this week and throughout April,” he said Friday. “We are expecting at least at this point that that’s going to be the norm. We should see more than a million first doses for the foreseeable future.”
This expectation is partly why Texas officials announced everyone 16 and older would be eligible to get vaccinated starting next week.
Van Deusen said state officials are trying to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible as “hundreds of variants have been detected” throughout the state.
State health officials say vaccine providers should still prioritize older Texans and those at risk of severe disease.
Van Deusen said this ramp up is just one milestone in the state’s fight against the spread of the coronavirus. Texas is expected to have administered 10 million first doses by the end of Friday.
“We are still asking people to be patient as we work through the remaining folks in [priority] populations and then through the 8 or 10 million people who are going to be newly eligible when Monday rolls around," he said.