The vaccines are anticipated to begin arriving the week of Dec. 14, according to a news release, and will be distributed to qualifying providers, which will administer the immunizations on a voluntary basis.
On Nov. 23, the governor’s distribution plan for the vaccines was announced and gave priority to health care workers, front-line workers and citizens who are at a greater risk of complications or death if they contract the virus.
The state’s COVID-19 Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel, which was created by the Texas Department of State Health Services, is continuing to work on a plan for long-term distribution throughout the state and will focus on ensuring that those living in poverty, rural populations and citizens without insurance have access to the vaccine.
According to the news release, additional allotments of the vaccines may be made as soon as later this month, with increased allotments expected in January and the following months.
“The state of Texas is already prepared for the arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine and will swiftly distribute the vaccine to Texans who voluntarily choose to be immunized,” Abbott said in a Dec. 2 news release. “As we await the first shipment of these vaccines, we will work with communities to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”
A COVID-19 vaccine has yet to receive approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, although two pharmaceutical companies filed for emergency authorization with the FDA in November.
Since the beginning of the pandemic in early March, the DSHS has reported approximately 1.2 million cases of COVID-19 in Texas and 22,204 coronavirus-related deaths as of Dec. 1.