Texas touts 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses ahead of widened eligibility

AUSTIN, Texas (KTRK) -- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott touted on Friday his state's accomplishment of administering 10 million vaccines since December.

He credited everyone from healthcare workers, to volunteers, to the Texas National Guard.

According to Abbott, the 10 million figure represents a little over 30% of eligible Texans having received the vaccine.

The milestone comes ahead of Texas widening eligibility for the vaccine to all adults in the state regardless of age or health condition.

"As more vaccines become available and eligibility opens to all Texans, I urge Texans who wish to get the COVID-19 vaccine to sign up to help us keep our communities safe. Here in Texas, COVID-19 vaccines will always be strongly encouraged and always voluntary," Abbott urged.

In his celebration, Abbott also reminded that Texas was the first state to administer 1 million vaccines.

Gov. Abbott wants FEMA sites at NRG Park and other cities extended

An effort by Houston leaders to extend operations of the federally-supported COVID-19 vaccination site at NRG Park past its original six-week timeline gained support from Abbott.

Abbott's office and the state's Division of Emergency Management formally requested the extension of not only the Houston site, but also those already running in Dallas and Arlington. The request was made earlier this week on Monday.

The video above is from a February 2021 report ahead of the opening of the FEMA-supported NRG Park vaccination site.

"The mass community vaccination sites in Arlington, Dallas, and Houston have been crucial to expanding vaccine access in underserved communities, and I urge FEMA to approve our request for an extension to these sites," said Abbott. "Continuing operations at these vaccination sites will ensure that even more Texans can get vaccinated and will help keep our communities safe."

Late last week, Abbott had been denied a request to start operation of a similar setup at San Antonio's Alamodome complex.

As part of the extension request, Abbott echoed calls by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo to get underserved populations vaccinated.

A joint letter by Turner and Hidalgo urged federal organizers to continue the NRG Park site through at least May 31. The site opened on Feb. 24 with an original run of six weeks.

SEE MORE: Houston, Harris County requesting extension in support for vaccine clinic at NRG Park

FEMA, with support of local organizations, were expected to, at minimum, vaccinate 126,000 people.

According to Turner and Hidalgo's request, as of March 21, 12.1% of the Harris County population - ages 16 and over - have been fully vaccinated.

Statewide, as of Friday, March 26, the state had fully vaccinated more than 3.4 million Texans.

DASHBOARD: Texas Department of State Health Services vaccination tally
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