AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas will get more than a million first doses of COVID-19 vaccine next week, according to the Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
That is almost 100,000 more than the state received this week.
This comes as the state expands eligibility to all adults starting Monday. DSHS estimated the expanded eligibility will allow another 8 to 10 million Texans to get a shot, but those shots won’t be immediately available.
With expanded eligibility, volunteer operations will ramp up in the coming weeks.
Kerry Burris and Kelly David, both registered nurses, are spending their extra time volunteering across Central Texas administering the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I’ve had a 104-year-old man that came to get his vaccine, and he was almost in tears, because he was so happy to be getting them,” Burris said.
They’ve seen the smiles, the frustrations and the hope as people get their first dose of the vaccine.
“We’ve all had our own struggles with the pandemic, but it makes me emotional, because it means so much to so many people,” David said.
And now things will ramp up for many volunteers like them across the area, but they think the process will be smoother as millions more become eligible. State health leaders hope to see more doses from the federal government in the coming weeks.
“What they have told us that supply should be steady and should increase as we go through the month of April,” explained Chris Van Deusen, director of media relations at DSHS. “I expect we will still have demand exceeding supply for a few weeks, but at some point we will get to a point where that’s more in balance.”
DSHS said it hopes more people will continue signing up for the vaccine each week as it continues seeing variant cases circulating.
“We are seeing more and more of those every week. We’re identifying them as we do sequencing at the state public health lab,” Van Deusen explained.