HOUSTON – COVID-19 vaccines have been rolled out across the Houston area but the process has not been perfect.
One of the big challenges: a limited supply.
“When you have sort of a lumpy supply chain, it prevents you from getting really efficient because you don’t get into a routine,” said Dr. James McDeavitt, dean of clinical affairs at Baylor College of Medicine.
The number of vaccine doses allocated to providers and counties in Texas can fluctuate by thousands each week, according to the state’s allocation list and vaccine dashboard.
McDeavitt said the ups and downs can cause confusion and frustration for patients, especially when appointments are canceled because providers run out of vaccine.
“I don’t think there’s anybody to blame, as much as we would like to find somebody to blame,” he said. “I think this really is an issue of just not having enough supply.”
The Texas Department of State Health Services said one of the goals of the new vaccine hubs is to have sites that will receive a reliable amount of vaccine from week to week so they can plan.
“For other providers, it will require more vaccine coming into Texas each week because there’s not enough to give it to all providers every week,” press officer Douglas Loveday wrote in an email.
McDeavitt believes the issue will continue until more vaccines are approved and produced, possibly in April.
“This will continue to be frustrating for the next several weeks, I think before we have a solution,” he said.