Gov. Abbott shares when he expects Texas to expand who can receive COVID-19 vaccine

HOUSTON – Gov. Greg Abbott delivered promising news Thursday at a press conference in Corpus Christi.

According to Abbott, President Joe Biden said the state could expect about a million or more doses of the vaccine very soon.

“The good news is there is going to be a record amount of vaccines available across Texas this week,” Abbott said. “So that we can increase week by week. We will be increasing the immunity that Texans have.”

A single-shot dose of the COVID-19 vaccine could bring much-needed relief to millions of people.

When asked when any Texan could be vaccinated, not just those who fall within high-risk populations, Abbott said the decision is out of his hands.

“So, the way that it works from here there is an expert vaccine evaluation panel that makes the decision about who goes next,” he said.

The panel made their initial decision for people 65 and older because they are most vulnerable to COVID-19, Abbott said.

However, Abbott said as the vaccine availability improves he expects the criteria of those who can be vaccinated will also expand.

“I would anticipate very soon, being defined, as sometime in March,” he said.

In Houston, FEMA is running the largest vaccination site at NRG Park, providing doses to 142,000 people in three weeks.

In addition, the majority of the local hospitals, including the Harris County Public Health, are pushing forward with vaccinations. Most of them are following the guidelines put in place by the state.

Houston Methodist said they have started scheduling patients 55 and older with health conditions. They are also allowing those who are 50 and older to get on a waitlist.

The hospital also added that they occasionally have additional doses and vaccinate people outside Phase 1A or 1B to avoid wasting doses.

Last week’s winter weather storm allowed more than 800 students at Rice University to the vaccine after a back-up generator storing doses in a freezer failed.