AUSTIN, Texas – The Lone Star state continues to suffer from spikes in coronavirus cases as this year comes to a close. Gov. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday that the state will receive its first allotment of COVID-19 vaccines on December 14.
According to the press release, 1.4 million vaccine doses will be distributed to qualified providers and administered based on the Vaccine Distribution Principles, which were established by the state’s Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel in late November.
The principles guide Texas to allocate the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines based on the following criteria:
- Protecting health care workers who fill a critical role in caring for and preserving the lives of COVID-19 patients and maintaining the health care infrastructure for all who need it.
- Protecting frontline workers who are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the nature of their work providing critical services and preserving the economy.
- Protecting vulnerable populations who are at greater risk of severe disease and death if they contract COVID-19.
- Mitigating health inequities due to factors such as demographics, poverty, insurance status and geography.
- Data-driven allocations using the best available scientific evidence and epidemiology at the time, allowing for flexibility for local conditions.
- Geographic diversity through a balanced approach that considers access in urban and rural communities and in affected ZIP codes.
- Transparency through sharing allocations with the public and seeking public feedback.
"The State of Texas is already prepared for the arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine, and will swiftly distribute these vaccines to Texans who voluntarily choose to be immunized," said Abbott in the release. "As we await the first shipment of these vaccines, we will work with communities to mitigate the spread of COVID-19."
A day prior to the announcement, Texas shattered the single-day record for COVID-19 cases, reported at 15,000. A staggering 9,047 people were also reported to be hospitalized because of the virus.