Abbott says state moving to vaccinate Texans as quickly as possible

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott provides an update on the distribution plans for the coronavirus vaccine.

ARLINGTON, Texas – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday the state government is shifting priorities in an effort to get Texans vaccinated against the coronavirus as quickly as possible.

Speaking at a mass-vaccination site in Arlington, Abbott said the state is moving from a smaller vaccination administration model to a hub model aimed at vaccinating thousands of people at larger sites. He said the state is opening 28 large-scale vaccination centers in big cities and 206 smaller-scale vaccination centers to concentrate on rural communities.

“It allows communities to have several locations capable of vaccinating thousands of people in a single day,” Abbott said.

RELATED: Vaccination hubs to open across Texas; 3 locations opening in the Houston area

“The only limitation that we now face is the limitation of supply,” Abbott added, noting that the state’s supply of the vaccine is controlled by the federal government.

The governor said 104 counties will get additional shipments of the vaccine this week. He said the state is expected to receive 310,000 first doses and up to 500,000 second doses each week.

“This is the way to ultimately end the pandemic,” said Dr. John Hellerstedt, commissioner of the Department of State Health Services.

Hellerstedt urged Texans to be patient as leaders learn better ways to distribute and administer vaccines.

“We are not holding anything back,” Hellerstedt said.

Abbott said that while the goal is to provide the vaccine close to where a person lives, Texans are not limited to receiving the vaccine in the county or city they reside.

The governor said the state is also working to open sites aimed at administering the coronavirus antibody therapy to help people have shorter stays in a hospital. He said two sites opened Monday in Fort Worth and Irving, with 13 more sites expected to soon open across the state.