HOUSTON, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) — Some 620,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines are expected to arrive in hospitals in the U.S. state of Texas on Monday, including those in rural areas.
Local media The Texas Tribune quoted health officials as saying that 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 Friday.
“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 Dr. John Hellerstedt, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, according to the report.
In the past week, nearly a quarter-million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine arrived at hospitals and health care 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.
Questions remain about who will be the first in line to get the vaccine once health care workers and long-term care residents have had their chance to be inoculated.
Last week, Texas 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,” Abbott said in Austin, Texas.
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 school virtually. Most students in majority Hispanic, Black and low-income districts are learning remotely, according to an analysis of state data by The Texas Tribune.
According to the Texas Health and Human Services, there are over 1.4 million confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state as of Sunday.