HOUSTON – With the winter weather gone, now, the focus for health officials returns to COVID-19 vaccines. United Memorial Medical Center in Houston is set to receive 2,340 doses this week.
“It was probably the best news we could have gotten because we’ve had a lot of people that have been very concerned about the second vaccine,” said Dr. Joseph Varon, chief medical officer at UMMC.
The hospital has set aside a special wing to administer the vaccine, he said.
“UMMC has made arrangements to have extra personnel, whatever it takes so that we can vaccinate as many people as we can once we have the vaccines available,” Varon said.
However, last week’s weather has also left some waiting.
“Most of the vaccine that was supposed to be shipped to Texas providers last week (week 10) was not shipped due to the storm,” Lara Anton, press officer for the Department of State Health Services, wrote in an email.
The delayed doses are now expected to arrive in the first half of this week.
“If we all get vaccines within the next few days or so, we should be able to catch up those people that we have to give a second vaccine, as well as our plan to start vaccinating,” Varon said.
On Monday, Houston and Harris County leaders explained plans for a FEMA-supported mass vaccination site at NRG Park. Up to 6,000 people a day will soon be able to get the shot there. Appointments are required.
Both the city and the county plan to prioritize the area’s most vulnerable populations and underserved communities at the site, according to a media release from the Houston Health Department.