Texas first state to administer 1 million COVID-19 vaccines
AUSTIN, Texas - Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) says that the state of Texas has administered more than one million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The announcement on January 14 came one month to the day after the first doses arrived at vaccine providers in the state on December 14.
According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Texas has administered more doses than any other state. Among the top 20 states for doses distributed, Texas ranks number one for percentage of doses administered.
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"Texas is leading the way for our nation once again," said Governor Abbott in a news release. "This is the biggest vaccination effort we have ever undertaken, and it would not be possible without the dedication and tireless efforts of our healthcare workers. We still have a long road ahead of us, but Texans continue to prove that we are up to this challenge."
Officials say voluntary vaccination continues throughout the state for front-line health care workers, residents at nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and Texans over 65 or with a chronic medical condition to aid in reducing hospitalizations and protect the health of those in these vulnerable populations.
In Austin-Travis County, Austin Public Health recently opened its COVID-19 online vaccine pre-registration system for the vaccines that APH receives, not for other vaccine providers in Austin-Travis County.
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While news of the vaccines is good, there was some grim news concerning coronavirus cases in Texas. The Lone Star State is now the second state to surpass the two million mark and has now seen 2,040,751 confirmed cases of the virus since the pandemic started nearly a year ago.
The state has also recorded over 31,200 deaths and is experiencing a testing positivity rate of 13.33%. A recent surge has also seen the state near ICU capacity, with just 9% remaining, according to the latest stats. About half of the patients in the ICU are there due to COVID-19 illness.
Texas has moved on to its phase 1B of vaccine distribution which includes persons 65 and older or those who are at least 16 years of age and have a chronic medical condition, including pregnancy.