DFW Healthcare Workers Started Receiving Vaccines Today
As the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are distributed in North Texas, many people wonder when it will be available in our community and will it be safe to take. Martin Koonsman, MD, chief medical officer for Methodist Health System, said in an interview televised on NBC 5 last week, “The vaccine appears to be highly effective. The safety profile of the vaccine is quite similar to what we would see with other vaccines. The side effects are quite similar and we think that this is the most effective tool that we have to date to protect our staff against COVID-19.”
Methodist Health System is receiving about 5,850 doses, which will be administered to frontline healthcare staff on an optional basis.
Midlothian’s Emergency Management staff has been closely following the approval process and distribution plans for various vaccines being developed, including the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine that was distributed in North Texas today. Governor Greg Abbott announced Friday, Dec. 11, that Texas will participate in a federal program to vaccinate residents and staff of long-term care facilities against COVID-19. The program was developed by the CDC and is called the “Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program.”
Gov. Abbott said in a news release that the program will help “facilitate safe vaccinations among some of our most vulnerable populations, and it will help us protect residents and staff of long-term care facilities from COVID-19.” At no cost to participating facilities, the program will send pharmacy employees and Pfizer vaccines from partnering Walgreens and CVS locations to administer the vaccine to residents and staff.
Pharmacies To Receive Vaccines Week of December 21
Some of the program’s first vaccines will go to pharmacies the week of Dec. 21. The program will begin Dec. 28, according to the governor’s office. The news release from Gov. Abbott said more than 1,200 skilled nursing facilities and more than 2,000 other long-term care facilities have signed up for this program. That’s more than 225,000 certified beds.
The CDC has told states the earliest they can start vaccinating in long-term care facilities is Dec. 21. CVS pharmacy said they will have the capacity to administer 20 to 25 million shots a month once vaccines are available for wider distribution. There are no long-term care facilities in Ellis County scheduled for the week-one roll-out. For updates on the state’s vaccination plan, visit its website at https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/immunize/vaccine.aspx.