'Well over a million people' in Texas will get COVID-19 vaccine, Abbott says

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Friday, December 18, 2020
'Well over a million people' in Texas to receive COVID-19 vaccine, Abbott says
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott gave an update Thursday on the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in the state.

AUSTIN, Texas (KTRK) -- "Well over a million people" in Texas will receive a COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech or Moderna, according to Gov. Greg Abbott.

Abbott made that claim in a Thursday briefing at a UPS distribution center in Austin about the COVID-19 vaccine distribution program in Texas.

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Nearly a quarter-million doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine have been arriving at hospitals and health care facilities around Texas this week, with another batch anticipated shortly after federal emergency-use approval of the Moderna vaccine, which is expected Friday.

Some 110 sites from the Rio Grande Valley to the Panhandle were expecting the vials of vaccine to arrive by Friday, including hard-hit border communities and the state's largest cities with some of Texas' highest death tolls.

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Texas is on deck to receive 1.4 million doses before the end of the year as part of the first phase of the largest national immunization program in American history. Front-line health care workers, after nine months of battling the deadly disease that has claimed more than 300,000 lives nationally and nearly 25,000 in Texas, are first in line for the injections, which began in Texas on Monday.

Abbott was joined Thursday by Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd and Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner John Hellerstedt.

At the press conference, Abbott said he had not yet been vaccinated but planned to do so after front-line health care workers are inoculated.

There were 728.5 new cases per 100,000 people in Texas over the past two weeks, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. One in every 268 people in Texas tested positive for the virus in the past week.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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