HOUSTON - A high-end luxury condo in Houston made national news last week after several of its older residents received the new COVID-19 vaccine.
Residents off-camera at The Montebello Condominium say they received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on December 29, 2020.
Monday, we spoke with Dr. Pablo De Angulo from the Texas Vaccine Institute. According to Dr. De Angulo, the Texas Vaccine Institute provided Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine to three high-end apartments in Houston; The Montebello Condominium, Bayou Bend Towers, and Lamar Tower.
The three high-rise luxury complexes are the first known condos in the state to receive the Coronavirus vaccine.
"They started to vaccinate 65 and older some weeks ago," said Dr. De Angulo. "We’re not the first ones, but maybe we are the first ones in condominiums."
According to Dr. De Angulo, Texas Vaccine Institute has been giving vaccines to businesses, school districts, and condominiums since 2000. In previous years, they would help disperse flu shots. Now, they’re registered COVID-19 vaccine providers through Texas Department of State Health Services.
Dr. De Angulo says they received 300 initial COVID-19 vaccines from the state.
"The ones we receive, we use them as soon as possible," said Dr. De Angulo. "We sent some proposals to nursing homes, but none of those nursing homes has answered yet."
According to the doctor, they reached out to high-rise condos after not hearing back from nursing homes. Some people on social media have expressed frustration because the condo recipients all live in high-end buildings.
"The most important thing right now is that they are 65 and older," said Dr. De Angulo. "It’s not a matter of socio-economic class. They are 65 and they are human beings."
Phase 1B of Texas’s vaccine distribution plan is now underway throughout the state, meaning people who are at least 65-years-old or have a chronic medical condition can get the COVID-19 shot.
According to the General Manager at The Montebello Condominium in Houston, several of their residents recently received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
"These shots were given by an authorized provider to people in Group 1B (specifically 65 and older) as expressly encouraged by the State of Texas," said General Manager Daniel Hancock. "It is my understanding that many high rise buildings with similar populations also received vaccines designated for Group 1B."
Houston’s Health Department tweeted Monday that their Coronavirus vaccine clinic is now booked through the end of the month.
According to Dr. De Angulo, they’re also waiting for more shots.
"We have the personnel ready to go to different places," said Dr. De Angulo. "Right now, we only need vaccines from the state."