Here's when the COVID-19 vaccine will make its rounds in Houston

Friday, November 20, 2020
When COVID-19 vaccine will make its Houston rounds
Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are around 95% effective, but what can you expect when they get to Houston? Here's what we know.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- During the pandemic, Papa John's Pizza has been delivering more than just food.

"It's a very rewarding experience to know that you're making somebody feel good because they can't get out, which you bring a little bit of normalcy to their homes," said president of Papa John's Houston, Keith Sullins.

Those special deliveries didn't just go to homes, but also to hospitals. The company donated 20,000 pies to healthcare workers across the region.

"We see firsthand what the doctors and nurses are going through. This is serious," said Sullins. "They're tired and not just them, but the police and the fire department."

Sullins didn't stop there. He wanted to do more.

WATCH: Papa John's Houston VP talks experience in Moderna vaccine trial

Keith Sullins, the regional VP at Papa John's Pizza says he doesn't regret participating in the Moderna vaccine trial.

As someone who's out and active in the community, he decided to participate in the Moderna vaccine trial.

READ MORE: Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine could be up to 94.5% effective, late-stage Phase 3 trial finds

"If it helps find a solution, I tell you, there's nothing cooler than that. To be part of something like that, you don't get that but once in a lifetime. I'm glad to be a part of it," he said.

Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are around 95% effective. That statistic even has the city's top health officials excited, who discussed it all during a virtual meeting on Wednesday.

READ MORE: COVID-19 vaccine update: Pfizer shot 95% effective, company days away from emergency use authorization ask

"[The] flu vaccine, if you're lucky, is 50 [or] 60 percent effective. This is 90 to 95 percent," said Dr. Paul Klotman, the president, CEO and executive dean of the Baylor College of Medicine. "There might be some reason for that. Our body has an innate immune response that really detects DNA and RNA and stimulates a very vigorous immune response."

They anticipate the vaccine's arrival will be sometime next month. It will first go to frontline workers and high-risk individuals will follow.

"I think it's quite possible that we will see high-risk populations in January, February, March timeframe and maybe by April, you know, very broad populations of access for vaccine and that's a cause for real hope and optimism," said Dr. Marc Boom, the president and CEO of Houston Methodist Hospital.

Houston Methodist also confirmed to ABC13 that it expects to get the COVID-19 vaccine in by early December.

In addition, Baylor College of Medicine said it has completed the pre-order requirements for vaccine distribution once the FDA has given authorization.

"Distribution of the vaccines will follow a schedule that will be determined by federal and state agencies. We have identified space and dedicated freezers and refrigerators to support the needs of whichever of the vaccine(s) we receive," said Dr. James McDeavitt of BCOM.

On Thursday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced the first coronavirus medical treatment, Bamlanivimab, has arrived in Texas. It will be given to those with the most dire need.

Abbott said the the treatment is similar to how IV drip bags are administered, and it takes an hour to complete.

Houston Methodist said it received shipments of Bamlanivimab this week and are setting up an infusion process to treat COVID-19 patients.

As for Sullins, while he can't say for sure, he feels he got the vaccine, not the placebo. He had no side effects.

When he heard how effective it could be, he said "it was better than a birthday present. I was so happy to see that."

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