Houston's 1st COVID-19 vaccine drive-thru opens

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Against the backdrop of a milestone in the city's COVID-19 vaccination efforts, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner offered on Monday a grim record and a reminder of the dire need to expand vaccines to high-risk residents.

The 3,039 new cases reported by Turner are the most recorded for a single day in the city throughout the course of the pandemic.

The statistic comes with some conditions, though. According to Turner, the number comes from an adjustment of cases from the last three days.

Still, the city so far has counted more than 148,500 cases of the coronavirus. Houston's positivity rate stands at 17%.

City's first drive-thru vaccination site

With a numerical reminder of the virus' impact on the city in mind, Turner and other city leaders ushered in Houston's first drive-thru vaccination site at Del Mar Stadium, where 1,600 doses of the Moderna vaccine were allotted.

Turner added the Houston Health Department received 9,000 additional doses last Friday.

"Our work to vaccinate as many people as possible (is) based on supply. I know there is a lot of anxiety in the community because people are worried they cannot get an appointment scheduled. We know that demand is higher than the supply of vaccine," Turner said.

The drive-thru site is in partnership with United Memorial Medical Center. People considered in the high-risk 1A and 1B phases qualified for the vaccinations with appointments.

"As we receive more vaccine, we will expand partnerships with pharmacies and federally qualified health centers to ensure the vaccine is available in the most vulnerable communities and deploy mobile strike teams as needed," Turner added.

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