On Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott held a press conference on COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Texas after touring a mass vaccination site in Arlington, emphasizing that the federal government, not the state, is in charge of vaccine supply.
“Each week this month, we are slated to receive — and this is on a weekly basis — we’re slated to receive 310,000 first doses,” Abbott said at the conference. “And then in addition to those first doses, each week… the state will be getting between 320,000 and 500,000 second doses. And so each week there will be 310,000 new people getting their very first dose and between 320,000 and 500,000 people getting their second dose.”
Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner John Hellerstedt said the state is working to distribute the vaccine to everyone who needs it. But they “just don’t have that supply yet.”
“If we had more, there’d be more going out,” Hellerstedt said. “We are not holding anything back at the state level in terms of our allotment.”
Abbott made note that they distributed the vaccinations they’ve already received over a three week period. So far, Texas has distributed 1,580,400 vaccine doses to providers. Of those, 802,507 have been given to Texans and 83,538 are second doses, he said.
However, there are 777,897 doses that have not been reported or administered, which Abbott attributed to a lag in reporting time. Walgreens and CVS, he said, are moving at “a far slower pace than what the state is … when administering vaccines in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.” He claimed providers are holding second doses for those who received their first dose.
In fact, Gov. Abbott recently held a phone conference with other governors, Operation Warp Speed officials and leaders of CVS and Walgreens. He said they strongly encouraged the pharmacies to increase their pace.
“We’ve [also] been working with the providers to help them understand they do not need to hold a second dose for the person they gave the first dose to because we receive weekly additional doses of the vaccines,” he said.