HOUSTON - Texas will now work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to launch two vaccination super sites in Dallas and Houston. Governor Greg Abbott tweeted the announcement Monday and said the super sites could handle up to 6,000 shots a day.
According to Abbott, the sites would be open every day for two months.
In a tweet, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo called this "good news" saying "the sooner we increase vaccine supply, the faster we can reach herd immunity. We’re ready to support State and Biden Administration efforts to distribute more vaccines. There are ~300K people on our waitlist & we’re able to distribute more vaccines than we’re getting."
During a news conference, Mayor Sylvester Turner and Dr. Stephen Williams of the Houston Health Department said they currently don’t know many details about the super sites including its location.
"I will be on a conference call with several of the mayors and the White House this coming Friday to discuss vaccine distribution," Turner said.
City leaders said their priority is to distribute the vaccine to those most vulnerable to dying from the virus.
"We’re continuing to partner with health centers and pharmacies and high priority communities to make sure that the vaccines are getting directly to the most underserved communities. These high priority zip codes are identified by positivity rate and COVID-19 vulnerability data," Williams said.
"There’s still not enough supply to meet the demand," said Turner.
According to a FEMA spokesperson, the super sites will use mostly federal staff to support state and local authorities. The goal is to expand the rate of vaccinations effectively, efficiently and fairly, with an explicit focus on high-risk communities.
FEMA said the pilot super sites will eventually expand to other cities as vaccine supplies ramp up in the weeks and months ahead.