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COVID-19 vaccine disbursement continues; one-shot version could be OK’d soon

Texas Department of State Health Services is disbursing more than 1,500 first-round doses of COVID-19 vaccine to the Highland Lakes the week of Feb. 22.

According the the health department, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Marble Falls, a state-designated vaccine hub, is getting 1,170 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. In Llano, Corner Drug Health Mart is getting 100 doses of the Moderna vaccine and Hill Country Direct Care is getting 300 doses of the same vaccine.

The state is still vaccinating residents in the Phase 1A and Phase 1B eligibility lists, which include healthcare personnel, first responders, longterm care facility staff and patients, ages 65 and older, and ages 16 and older with serious medical conditions.

State health officials said the federal government is allocating more than 591,000 first-round doses to Texas this week and another 516,830 second-round doses have been ordered.

Along with the three Highland Lakes locations, Hill Country Memorial Hospital in Fredericksburg is getting 1,200 first-round doses this week and Family Emergency Room in Cedar Park is getting 6,000 doses. The two state-designated hubs are receiving the Moderna vaccine.

People must register in advance and make an appointment to be vaccinated at the above sites. Check with each provider.

The winter storm on Feb. 11-19 did put a damper on vaccine deliver and appointments, particularly those with second-dose appointments. State health officials said residents who had a second-dose appointment during the winter storm that was canceled or impossible to keep shouldn’t panic.

“People who had second-dose appointments delayed by the winter weather should rest assured knowing that vaccine will be available, and their appointments will be rescheduled,” officials stated in a media release. “Even if they receive the second dose outside of the recommended six-week time frame, they will get the full protection of the second dose and will not need an additional booster shot.”

Since the COVID-19 vaccine rollout began in mid-December, Texas providers have administered more than 4.3 million doses with more than 3 million people getting at least one round. Another 1.3 million Texans have been fully vaccinated.

As of now, only two COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for emergency use by the federal government, but another vaccine could be on the horizon. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory committee is scheduled to meet Friday, Feb. 26, to discuss an emergency use authorization request from Janssen Biotech for its one-shot COVID-19 vaccine. Janssen Biotech is a Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical company. 

If the FDA grants emergency use authorization, the Janssen vaccine could be available in early March.

daniel@thepicayune.com

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