More COVID-19 vaccines needed to open Houston mega sites, Mayor Turner says

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is intent on opening two COVID-19 vaccine mega sites by the coming weekend.

But that's if more doses arrive in time.

Turner reiterated the need for more vaccines following a weekend in which the city's temporary Minute Maid Park vaccine site, which was opened in place of the Bayou City Event Center clinic, provided 3,600 vaccines, which is triple the number administered the previous Saturday.

On Saturday, 1,000 new appointments at MMP were filled shortly after they were added by the Houston Health Department for people who meet Phase 1A or Phase 1B criteria.

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The city of Houston moved vaccination efforts to Minute Maid Park where 3,600 shots were given. There are plans for mega-sites, but as the video shows, there are issues before getting to those plans.

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"As more vaccine supply becomes available, the plan is to have mega sites on the south and north sides of Houston," Turner's office said.

The mayor added his eventual goal is to deliver 10,000 vaccine doses a day. Last Friday, the city got 8,000 Moderna doses, but it was not clear if that is supposed to last through this coming weekend as well.

As far as the city's status with the pandemic, Turner and other city officials on Monday said the latest numbers suggest a rise from the holidays. There were 1,460 new cases and three new deaths, with more than 2,100 people in the hospital. And the rolling average positivity rate is up from last week to 17.4%.

Houston's death toll is at an even 1,600.

Vaccination hubs

On Sunday, Texas health officials released a list of coronavirus "vaccination hubs" that will receive the state's next shipment of vaccines.

The 28 hubs will get 158,825 doses of the vaccine this week, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Another 38,300 doses will go to other providers across the state.

Hubs in Harris County are on the list.

As of Monday morning, the Houston Health Department sent out another reminder that its COVID-19 vaccine clinics are full, and additional appointments are not being made at the time. The department plans to announce more vaccination opportunities at multi-service centers, health centers, community locations and mobile units as supply increases.

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