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Luxury high-rise in Houston faces questions after some tenants given access to vaccine

HOUSTON – While people wait to get the COVID-19 vaccine, a luxury high rise in Houston is facing questions about how some of its tenants were given access to the shots.

A website for Montebello calls the condo building near the Galleria “one of Houston’s premier luxury highrises,” with units that can sell for millions of dollars. The questions are not about the listings, but COVID-19 vaccines.

About 60 residents received the vaccine this week prompting an article from the Daily Beast to ask, “Why Did This Swanky High-Rise in Houston Get Vaccines Ahead of Most People?”

The article quoted the general manager, Daniel Hancock, as saying, “We’re working with a distributor …”

Hancock would not go on camera with KPRC 2 but said off camera that the building did not secure the vaccines, a provider did. He said the provider previously offered flu shots to residents here and offered the vaccine after receiving doses.

“These shots were given by an authorized provider to people in Group 1B (specifically 65 and older) as expressly encouraged by the State of Texas. It is my understanding that many other high rise buildings with similar populations also received vaccines designated for Group 1B,” he said in a written statement.

A resident who got the shot said most of the people who live at Montebello are seniors, and given his age, he doesn’t want to get COVID.

Hancock said the provider also offered the vaccines to other buildings. The manager said the provider is on the state’s list of vaccine recipients but he would not name the provider, so KPRC 2 could not check on that or reach out to the provider.