Here are things to know for Wednesday, Dec. 9:
1. Human smuggling suspect released on $5,000 bond; Police fear he will flee
Homeland Security agents and Houston police rescued six naked men from a human trafficking operation Monday at an apartment in southwest Houston.
Jorge Antonio Chavez, 50, was arrested after being accused of holding the men there.
But Chavez wasn’t in jail for long. At his probable cause hearing this morning, the prosecutors asked for a high bond of $25,000. They argued that Chavez is an obvious flight risk.
2. UK probing if allergic reactions linked to Pfizer vaccine
British regulators warned Wednesday that people who have a history of serious allergic reactions shouldn’t receive the new Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as they investigate two adverse reactions that occurred on the first day of the country’s mass vaccination program.
The U.K.’s Medical and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency is looking into whether the reactions were linked to the vaccine. The two people affected were staff members with the National Health Service who had a history of allergies, and both are recovering. Authorities have not specified what their reactions were.
In the meantime, the regulator has issued the warning for anyone who has had a significant allergic reaction to a vaccine, medicine or food. That includes anyone who has been told to carry an adrenaline shot or others who have had potentially fatal allergic reactions.
3. Houston hospitals finalizing distribution plans for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine
More than 220,000 vaccines are expected across the state next week beginning as early as Monday. Here in Houston, many hospitals are looking to vaccinate or than 1,000 healthcare workers per day.
Houston area hospital plans for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution are being finalized as healthcare workers wait for FDA emergency approval.
Houston Methodist hospital will get more than 13,000 vaccines as early as next week. About 2,000 healthcare workers are expected to be vaccinated per day. It will take one week to get through this first allotment.
4. Bulk of Houston Rodeo moved to May over coronavirus concerns
The bulk of the activities surrounding the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has been moved to may because of concerns over the coronavirus.
The Houston tradition was originally scheduled to run from March 2-21 at NRG Park, but the majority of the festival is now scheduled from May 4-23. This includes RODEOHOUSTON competitions, concerts, entertainment, carnival and activities. Rodeo-related events that usually happen in January and February, like the parade, trail ride, barbecue and run, are also being moved to coincide with the May schedule.
5. More than $47K raised for family moving to Houston after vehicles packed with belongings stolen
People have stepped up in a big way to help a family in need ahead of the holidays.
A GoFundMe account set up to help a family whose UHaul and car were stolen during a cross-country move to Houston has raised more the $47,000 of its $50,000 goal.
The family traveled to Houston last week and one morning discovered their packed belongings and vehicles were stolen.
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