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Texas to health authorities: add ‘sense of urgency’ in COVID19 vaccine distribution

Healthcare workers at two local hospitals received the first vaccinations against COVID-19...
Healthcare workers at two local hospitals received the first vaccinations against COVID-19 Tuesday in Central Texas as the number of confirmed cases and deaths in the region continued to rise.(Baylor Scott & White photo)
Published: Dec. 29, 2020 at 6:46 PM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - The Texas Department of State Health Services is asking hospitals and local health authorities for more “urgency” in administering COVID-19 vaccines and in reporting administered doses to the state’s immunization registry, ImmTrac2.

“It has come to our attention that there may be unnecessary delays in administering all allocated vaccines,” Texas Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner John Hellerstedt said in a letter shared by state officials on social media platforms.

“We direct all entities that have been allotted vaccines to administer their entire allotment with all deliberate speed ... The time to vaccinate willing individuals is now.”

Hellerstedt said data on ImmTrac2 indicates a “significant portion” of COVID19 vaccines in Texas have yet to be administered.

“Every day a vaccine sits on the shelf is another day that prolongs the pandemic that is hindering our state’s economy and way of life,” the commissioner said.

Hellerstedt urged hospitals and health authorities to move on to providing the vaccine to other segments of the population as soon as all “willing members” in the Phase 1A priority group have been served.

“There is no need to ensure all of your 1A group has been vaccinated before staring 1B vaccinations,” Hellerstedt said.

“Put another way, we urge you to add timelines - indeed, a sense of urgency - to your priorities in your vaccination and operations ... We ask you to take the initiative and push forward aggressively.”

HOW TO GET THE COVID-19 VACCINE:

If you are 65 or older or have a medical condition that increases your risk of COVID-19 hospitalization or death, you can now get the COVID-19 vaccine depending on local availability.

To get a vaccine, use this online map of COVID19 vaccine providers to find and call one near you.

State health officials said some providers may not have vaccines available yet.

“Vaccine supply is limited but providers receive more vaccines each week. It will take some time to vaccinate everyone in these priority groups,” The Texas Department of State Health Services said on its Facebook page.

Click here to learn more about who can now receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Texas.

For all Texas COVID-19 vaccine information, go to this website.

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