Texas governor, top health official urge quick vaccinations

Texas has received nearly 612,000 vaccine doses; 163,700 people have received first shot

File image of a vaccine.
File image of a vaccine.

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the state’s top health official on Tuesday urged vaccine providers not to hold any doses in reserve and to distribute them as quickly as possible as the state deals with record-breaking numbers of virus patients in hospitals and new cases.

In separate statements, Abbott and state health Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt suggested that some hospitals are not moving fast enough in distributing the vaccine to the first rounds of eligible patients.

“A significant portion of vaccines distributed across Texas might be sitting on hospital shelves as opposed to being given to vulnerable Texans. The state urges vaccine providers to quickly provide all shots. We get plenty more each week. Always voluntary,” Abbott tweeted.

On Tuesday, Texas reported 11,775 hospitalized COVID patients, setting a record high for the second day in a row. The state also reported a record high 26,990 newly-confirmed cases.

State health officials report Texas has received nearly 612,000 vaccine doses and 163,700 people have received the first of two shots.

"All providers that have received COVID-19 vaccine must immediately vaccinate healthcare workers, Texans over the age of 65, and people with medical conditions that put them at a greater risk of severe disease or death from COVID-19,” said Dr. John Hellerstedt, commissioner of the Department of State Health Services.

"No vaccine should be kept in reserve,” he said, shortly before Texas reported 11,775 hospitalized COVID patients, setting a record high for the second day in a row. The state also reported a record high 26,990 newly-confirmed cases.

State health officials report Texas has received nearly 612,000 vaccine doses and 163,700 people have received the first of two shots.