State Urges Providers To Order Additional COVID-19 Vaccine as Needed

The Texas Department of State Health Services in a letter Friday urged vaccine providers to order additional shots as needed. 

“As the COVID-19 vaccine supply increases and most Texans eager to be vaccinated have at least received their first shot, we have heard from many of you that weekly demand for vaccine appointments has decreased,” Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt wrote in the letter. “While there are still many Texans willing to be vaccinated, that demand is shifting from large, mass vaccination sites to smaller, more convenient sites where Texans routinely receive medical care.”

In the following weeks, providers should continue to request vaccine as needed, and DSHS will place or fill orders for those amounts, rather than drawing down all doses in the state allotment.

The Texas Department of State Health Services is allocating 446,460 first doses of COVID-19 vaccine to providers that requested it for next week. That represents 753 sites in 101 counties and leaves more than 500,000 additional doses available to providers. Those doses will be shipped to the DSHS pharmacy in Austin and used to fill vaccine requests starting next week.

In addition to the 446,460 first doses outlined above, DSHS is ordering 639,400 second doses for people vaccinated a few weeks ago. An estimated 480,000 first and second doses are expected to be available to pharmacy locations, federally qualified health centers, and dialysis centers as allocated directly by the federal government.

Hellerstedt added in the letter that there are about 280,000 more doses available in the state for next week than providers requested.

Texas has administered more than 18.3 million doses of vaccine. More than 11 million people have received at least one dose, and over 7.9 million are now fully vaccinated, meaning nearly half of all eligible Texans have gotten a COVID-19 shot, and more than one-third are fully vaccinated.

Vaccine continues to be available across the state at large vaccine hubs, community vaccination providers, and special clinics operated by the DSHS public health regions, local health departments, and Texas military forces. 

People can register with the Texas Public Health Vaccine Scheduler at getthevaccine.dshs.texas.gov, which will match them with a vaccine appointment through a participating public health entity in their county.

In other news:

  • Dallas County Friday reported 361 more COVID-19 cases and eight deaths. One of the cases identified Friday was of the P.2 variant identified in Brazil. The county reported 165 more COVID-19 cases and five deaths Saturday. 
  • The India Association of North Texas provided vaccines this week and is working to raise money to help those in India amid a deadly surge in cases there, NBCDFW reported.
  • Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton warned about a rise in unemployment benefits identity theft in the state.

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at [email protected]

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