AUSTIN - Texas will be receiving 620,000 doses in the second week of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
The Texas Department of State Health Services announced on Friday that it is instructing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ship COVID-19 vaccines to more than 1,100 providers in 185 Texas counties over the next week.
According to the release, the CDC is delivering 460,500 doses of the Moderna vaccine and 159,900 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
These are allocated to vaccinate frontline health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities.
"Our state will be receiving allocations of a second vaccine able to protect Texans from COVID-19," said Dr. John Hellerstedt, DSHS commissioner. "Adding the Moderna vaccine will dramatically increase the amount of vaccine that can go to rural areas and smaller providers because it ships in smaller quantities and can be stored longer at regular refrigerator temperatures. Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are safe and effective – both can confer protection against COVID-19, regardless of which vaccine you receive."
If the Moderna vaccine is authorized as expected, it will begin shipping over the weekend and start arriving in Texas on Monday at providers like hospitals, freestanding ERs, EMS providers, pharmacies, local health departments, health centers and other clinics. DSHS encourages providers that have received vaccine to partner with other health care facilities and workers in the area to maximize vaccination.
Most of the Pfizer vaccine, 124,800 doses, will go to the federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program. Vaccination under the program is expected to begin Dec. 28 in Texas.
The remaining doses will be distributed to 29 hospitals that received Pfizer doses this week to continue vaccinating health care workers.
The vaccines are expected to arrive before the Christmas holiday, but with a much larger number of shipments and the short week, some may arrive early the following week, depending on federal shipping timelines.
This week, 224,250 doses of the Pfizer vaccine were delivered to 110 large providers to begin vaccinating health care workers.
DSHS says it will update the list as information about a few dozen providers is finalized.