Texas marks 2 million vaccines during virus’ deadliest month

State reported 470 additional deaths on Thursday

A woman wearing a face mask to protect against the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mask clad Acrocanthosaurus display at the Witte Museum, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
A woman wearing a face mask to protect against the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mask clad Acrocanthosaurus display at the Witte Museum, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Texas has now administered more than 2 million COVID-19 vaccinations, state health officials said Thursday, and the new Biden administration could help determine who’s next in line.

But Texas surpassed the milestone for doses while lurching toward the end of the state’s deadliest month of the pandemic. Of the more than 35,000 reported COVID-19 deaths in Texas, more than 1 in 5 have come in January.

January’s grim tally climbed Thursday with more than 470 newly reported deaths. But hospitalizations continued trending downward to just under 12,400 patients, as officials see encouraging signs that cases may be leveling off after a bleak surge that accelerated after the Christmas holidays.

Texas moved away from federal vaccine guidelines in December and joined other states in moving a broader population of older residents to the front of the line. But Imelda Garcia, who chairs the state panel that recommends vaccine prioritization for Texas’ nearly 30 million residents, said the Biden administration may make some changes that they’ll want to consider for the next phase.

Garcia said Texas is “not satisfied” with the supply of vaccines and did not hint at what groups might be eligible next.

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