COVID-19 vaccine clinics, such as the one held April 5 at the Burnet Community Center, are helping protect Texans against the disease. Photo by Martelle Luedecke/Luedecke Photography
As Texas enters the 18th week of its COVID-19 vaccine rollout, state officials said they are pleased with how it’s going but added that the federal allocation of doses will likely decrease the week of April 12.
“When we look to next week, we continue to see a large amount of vaccines coming to Texas, but not as many as this week,” said Imelda Garcia, associate commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, during an update Thursday, April 8. The issue, she said, is the federal government expects fewer available doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Highland Lakes providers are also receiving doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
Still, Garcia said the state should receive more than a million doses of all three approved vaccines next week, which includes first and second rounds.
She added that, as of April 8, vaccine providers had administered more than 13.2 million doses and more than 5 million Texans are fully vaccinated.
Those numbers continue to improve.
About 22 percent of all Texans age 16 and older and approximately 50.3 percent of those age 65 and older are fully vaccinated.
In Burnet County, according to DSHS numbers, approximately 19.5 percent of residents age 16 and older and 45.6 percent of those age 65 and older are fully vaccinated. In Llano County, about 20 percent of residents age 16 and older and 35.5 percent of those age 65 and older are fully vaccinated.
GETTING A VACCINE
The Texas Department of Emergency Management and Llano County hosted a vaccine clinic Thursday-Friday, April 8-9, at Lutie Watkins Memorial United Methodist Church, where about 1,600 doses were administered. Officials hope to hold additional clinics in the Llano and Kingsland area next week.
These clinics are open to all Texans, not just Llano County residents. Check the Llano County COVID-19 website for upcoming clinics and registration information.
Burnet County, the city of Burnet, and Ascension Seton Highland Lakes have hosted clinics when vaccine doses are available. Visit the city’s COVID-19 vaccination clinic webpage for availability, registration, and more information.
The DSHS offers an interactive map to locate other vaccine providers in the Highland Lakes and across Texas.
IN OTHER VACCINE NEWS
DSHS scientific adviser Dr. Saroj Rai said a recent study conducted by Pfizer of its COVID-19 vaccine revealed positive news regarding its effectiveness in ages 12 to 15. Currently, only those age 16 and older can get the vaccine, but Saroj said the study revealed the Pfizer vaccine had a 100 percent efficacy when give to those in the 12-15 age bracket compared to a placebo. The company still needs FDA approval before the vaccine can be administered to younger teens.
Two other pharmaceutical companies, AstraZeneca and Novavax, have completed Phase 3 studies of their respective accines, Saroj said. The next step is requesting a review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization.
She anticipated the earliest the review would happen is late April or early May.