Houston hospitals ready and waiting to receive Pfizer vaccine

HOUSTON – Houston Methodist Hospital, UTMB in Galveston, Ben Taub, Memorial Herman, and Texas Children’s Hospital all say they plan to begin vaccinations next week.

“Our personnel are ready to accept vaccines as early as this weekend, should it arrive, but we probably anticipate it arriving on Monday or Tuesday,” said Roberta Schwartz, executive VP of Houston Methodist.

While they don’t know exactly when the vaccine will be here, the one thing for certain is after a tiresome year of simultaneously taking care of COVID-19 patients and worrying about their own families, many doctors are ready to finally fight back.

Memorial Hermann said with two effective vaccines likely coming to their doorstep, they’ll eventually be able to vaccinate every employee.

In a note to staff, they say, “buckle up ... we are about to do battle with COVID-19.”

“It’s going to be a long road, it’s going to take months and years to get everybody vaccinated, but for the first time in almost a year that long road is headed upwards,” Dr. Linda Yancey, Memorial Hermann Infectious Disease Specialist said.

Texas Children’s also said, “we are awaiting next steps from federal, state and county authorities. While we do not yet have the vaccine doses, our team is prepared to move forward quickly and safely once they arrive at our hospitals.”

According to the Houston Health Department, cases have consistently been on the rise for over a month but they’re not sure will even see the impact from the Thanksgiving holiday until next week ... the same time a vaccine might arrive in Houston.

Key dates:

- Dec. 14 is when the state says they could begin rolling out the Pfizer vaccine to hospitals.

- Dec. 17 is when Moderna meets with the FDA to discuss their emergency use authorization (EUA).

AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson are two other companies that could be following close behind them but they have yet to apply for EUA.