HOUSTON: Some 620,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines are expected to arrive in hospitals across the US state of Texas on Monday, including those in rural areas. On Sunday, state health officials said athat the second shipment of vaccines will include 159,900 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 460,500 doses of the vaccine manufactured by Moderna, which won federal emergency use approval on December 18, Xinhua news agency reported.
“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,” said John Hellerstedt, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services.
In the past week, nearly a quarter-million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine arrived at hospitals and healthcare facilities around Texas. By the end of December, Texas expects to receive 1.4 million vaccine doses, which will be distributed to a variety of providers. But questions remain about who will be the first in line to get the vaccine once healthcare workers and long-term care residents have had their chance to be inoculated.
Last week, state Governor Greg Abbott expressed the hope that teachers will be near the front of the line as the vaccine gets more widely distributed. “Part of restoring normalcy in our state is to make sure we get our kids back in schools in a learning environment that is best for them, and part of achieving that goal is to make sure that we will have teachers in a safe and secure situation, vaccinated, able to be in a classroom teaching without fear of getting Covid-19,” he said.
As Covid-19 cases continue to rise, more than 2 million of 5.5 million Texas public school students have chosen to stay home and attend virtual classes. According to the Texas Health and Human Services, there are more than 1.59 million confirmed Covid-19 cases in the state, while the death toll stood at 25,948.