Texas Gov. Abbott hosts roundtable discussion, provides COVID-19 update with Houston health care professionals

HOUSTON – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott held a roundtable discussion and deliver remarks alongside health care professionals on Tuesday at Houston Methodist Hospital.

During the roundtable, the governor discussed his legislative priorities for ensuring Texans are vaccinated. Following the roundtable, Abbott held a brief news conference and provide an update on COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

The governor was joined by Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) Chief Nim Kidd, Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Commissioner John Hellerstedt, MD, Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs of the University of Texas System John Zerwas, MD, and Houston Methodist President and CEO Marc Boom, MD.

As of Tuesday, the governor said Texas has distributed 1,725,575 doses. Abbott said a total of 1,358,678 of those doses have already been administered to Texans. A total of 81% of first doses and 67% of second doses have been administered, Abbott said. Harris County has administered more vaccines than any county in Texas. Dallas County comes in second, yet Harris County has nearly doubled those doses. This week, Texas will receive nearly 843,000 doses. Abbott says we should see an increase in the doses we receive. Texans can expect to see more vaccinations in the upcoming weeks.

Mayor Sylvester Turner said county and city healthcare directors were not invited to the roundtable discussion, but they should be to ensure fair and equitable distribution of the vaccine. KPRC 2 reached out to the governor’s office to find out why Turner and his team were not invited, however, the governor’s office has not responded.

Washington County started vaccinations Tuesday morning. The state designated the county a vaccination hub.

In Fort Bend County, they expect to receive 5,000 doses of the vaccine this week. Fort Bend County officials said those doses are for people already on their waitlist.

Some Harris County vaccinations were supposed to start today. However, Harris County officials say they were delayed until Wednesday because of logistical issues.

We also learned more new information about Chambers County, which was also designated as a vaccination hub. Chambers County officials said they have a limited number of vaccines and pre-registration will be required. Information on how to pre-register will be released soon.

Meanwhile, Galveston County expects to receive 1,000 doses of the vaccine today. Once in hand, county officials say they’ll open up appointments for vaccinations. Instructions on how to sign up will be posted on the county’s social media pages.