HOUSTON - In a press conference Monday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner started looking ahead to a COVID-19 vaccine.
“We’re encouraging people to get vaccinated,” said Turner. “It will help curb the number of people having to go to hospitals and the number of people testing positive.”
On Monday, the Texas Medical Center reported their highest weekly average so far of new COVID-19 cases. However, the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 remained consistent with previous weeks.
According to Mayor Turner, it’s still too early to tell how Houston area hospitals will be impacted by recent Thanksgiving travel.
Medical workers treating Coronavirus patients will be first in line for the vaccine. Experts predict emergency use approval could be passed later this week.
“We may be able to give vaccines to our frontline healthcare workers sometime in the next week or 2,” said Dr. David Callender, CEO for the Memorial Hermann Health System. “It’s too early to predict, how soon we’ll have a vaccine available for the general public. Most experts are thinking it’ll be sometime in late spring or early summer.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott expects more than 1.4 million COVID-19 vaccines to be delivered to Texas by the end of December. Governor Abbott says more vaccines will arrive in 2021.
“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 Governor Abbott.
H-E-B is one of several stores in Texas planning to distribute the shot. According to an H-E-B spokesperson, they have already received approval.
“H-E-B pharmacies will partner with the federal and state government to administer the Covid-19 vaccine when it becomes available to the general public, following the CDC distribution schedule,” said an H-E-B spokesperson.
“We’re hopeful the FDA will approve the Pfizer vaccine on Thursday,” said Turner.
We reached out to Kroger and Walmart to see if they plan to help with vaccine distribution, so far we haven’t heard back.