Texas is moving closer to that goal by bringing in 800,000 first doses to vaccine providers next week. There will also be about 200,000 doses coming directly from the federal government to pharmacies in Texas next week.
It is the third-largest allocation of doses Texas has received since vaccination efforts began in the state. Though, it's less than the 1 million doses delivered last week, because production is still ramping up for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
For the third weekend in a row, Hays, Travis, Bastrop and Caldwell counties will host a mass vaccination clinic at Circuit of the Americas in an effort to get as many eligible people vaccinated as possible. "If you receive an invitation to go to Circuit of the Americas for the vaccine, take it, and if you can’t, let us know," said Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra.
Each week, that site has been able to increase the number of doses administered. The plan is to give out 14,000 shots this weekend. To do that the four county judges who teamed up to put on the clinic are asking for volunteers.
"If anybody's like a doctor, or nurse, or medical assistant, to where they can give injections, or help with that process, we really could use their help," said Travis County Judge Andy Brown.
One issue Becerra is trying to manage is the number of people skipping appointments after they have been booked.
"Currently, we are running a vaccination clinic right now, and, like never before, many folks aren’t showing up. And they’re not showing up because they weren’t able to get themselves off of our pre-registration list, or in some instances didn’t try because they didn’t know," Becerra said.
To fill those skipped appointments, Hays County is sending out texts with a window of time people pre-registered can show up for their vaccine.
"No vaccine has been wasted and we are trying very hard to make sure we keep that record of zero vaccinations wasted in Hays County," said Becerra.
The text invites are still by appointment only and are nontransferrable.
Next week, in addition to 1A and 1B groups, Texas will expand the number of people eligible for the vaccine to those 50 and older. That means about 12 to 14 million Texans will be qualified next week.
"Any population that Governor Abbott opens it up to, we will include," Brown said.
Medical experts say between 70 and 90 percent of people need to be vaccinated or infected with the virus in order to reach herd immunity and end the pandemic. Already Texas has given out at least one shot to more than 5 million people and fully vaccinated more than 2.7 million.
To pre-register for a vaccine, or to remove your name from the pre-registration list, visit your county health department's website.