Houston-area hospitals prep to receive nearly 60,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine in coming days

HOUSTON – Houston-area hospitals are making preparations to receive the first allocation of the COVID-19 vaccine. Nearly 60,000 doses of the vaccine are expected to be distributed to hospitals in the coming days.

According to Memorial Hermann, they will receive 16,575 doses.

The state provided guidelines about who could receive that first allocation of the vaccine. The decision on the number of doses was based on a survey of the number of COVID-19 patients treated, hospitalized and the number of employees treating patients with COVID-19, according to Memorial Hermann President Dr. David Callender.

Callender said front-line workers will be the first to be vaccinated.

“We actually sent out the scheduling links to employees, who are in the first phase today,” he said.

Twenty-one hospitals in Harris County, four in Montgomery County, one in Galveston County and one in Fort Bend County were selected to receive the vaccine.

The Michael E. Debakey VA Medical Center was among those to be selected, including just one of the 37 VA hospitals picked. Assistant Chief of Medicine Dr. Prathit Kulkarni said frontline workers and veterans that are considered to be at high risk will be eligible to take the vaccine once it arrives.

Kulkarni said there have been questions and concerns regarding the vaccine but said he is confident that it has gone under rigorous evaluation and trials.

“What those trials have shown is that there was no major signal of concerns about safety when you vaccinated literally tens of thousands of people,” said Kulkarni.

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