HOUSTON – Harris County jail medical personnel and corrections officers became the latest frontline workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office received 400 doses of the Moderna vaccine.
“You could see those soft smiles and they were like finally there’s hope,” said Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, who also took the vaccine.
Gonzalez said the arrival of the vaccine is the start of relief for his jail staff, whom he says are at high risk for exposure to the disease because of their work environment.
“It’s been a difficult year for us in particular with our jail operation that’s a petri dish for the spread of illness, we’ve lost a couple of defendants through this process as well as three of our own teammates so we’ve seen the loss first hand we know how devastating it can be,” he said.
But Tuesday’s vaccine distribution is just a fraction of what’s needed to vaccinate the sheriff’s office’s entire 4500 person staff.
“We hope that already, at least the line is moving and hopefully we can get everybody taken care of. We have a large operation so we know it might be a while before we get to everybody and our priority is to make sure those people in the front lines are taken care of as quickly as possible,” he said.