AUSTIN (KXAN) — The very first vials of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Austin Monday morning, the chief clinical officer with UT Health Austin confirmed. There were 2,925 vials total, and healthcare workers at Dell Medical School will receive all those doses over the next 10 days. Then they’ll get a second dose in 17 to 21 days.
In all, there are 224,250 doses on the way to the Lone Star State. Several other hospitals in the Austin area are also set to receive them in order to vaccinate the city’s health care workers first.
Dell Medical School was the only hospital in Austin receiving vaccines Monday, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), and one of just four statewide.
This comes after the Food and Drug Administration approved an emergency use authorization Friday for the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The move made the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine the first in the country approved for use in the fight against COVID-19.
Here is the complete list of Austin area hospitals receiving the vaccine this week and how many doses:
- UT Health Austin (Dell Medical School) – 2,925 doses (UT Austin said these are the doses going to its campus)
- Seton Medical Center Austin – 2,925 doses
- Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas – 1,950 doses
- Dell Seton Medical Center At University of Texas – 1,950 doses
- South Austin Medical Center – 975 doses
- Austin State Hospital – 975 doses
- North Austin Medical Center – 975 doses
- St. David’s Medical Center – 975 doses
- Round Rock Medical Center Round Rock – 975
- Baylor Scott White Health MC Round Rock – 975
DSHS released a schedule of when hospitals around Texas would get their vaccines Monday and Tuesday.
|San Antonio||Wellness 360 (UT Health San Antonio)|
|Dallas||Methodist Dallas Medical Center|
|Austin||UT Health Austin Dell Medical School|
|Houston||MD Anderson Cancer Center|
|Amarillo||Texas Tech Univ. Health Science Center Amarillo|
|Corpus Christi||Christus Spohn Health System Shoreline|
|Edinburg||Doctors Hospital at Renaissance|
|Edinburg||UT Health RGV Edinburg|
|El Paso||University Medical Center El Paso|
|Fort Worth||Texas Health Resources Medical Support|
|Galveston||University of Texas Medical Branch Hospital|
|Houston||Texas Children’s Hospital Main|
|Houston||CHI St. Luke’s Health|
|Houston||Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center|
|Houston||Houston Methodist Hospital|
|Houston||Ben Taub General Hospital|
|Lubbock||Covenant Medical Center|
|San Angelo||Shannon Pharmacy|
|Temple||Baylor Scott and White Medical Center|
|Tyler||UT Health Science Center Tyler|
Dr. David Lakey, vice chancellor for health affairs and chief medical officer for the University of Texas System and member of the Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Task Force, said this is a moment the country has been waiting for.
“We’re very excited that this is the light at the end of the tunnel,” Dr. Lakey said. “A lot of planning has been put into place so that they can very quickly start immunizing individuals.”
Right now, Dr. Lakey said hospitals are working on logistics, from how they accept the shipment of vaccines to finding secure places to administer the shots to workers.
“All those things have to take place and be done right if we’re going to go from this pizza box of vaccines that’s arrived to actually having vaccines in people’s arms,” he explained.
Dr. Lakey thinks it’ll be a while before the vaccine will be available to the general public. He estimates people should be able to get a vaccine if they want one by late summer of 2021.
“This may happen quicker, for a variety of reasons, it may happen a little bit slower depending on supply chain and the logistics,” Dr. Lakey said.
Once ready to go, immunization will consist of two doses. The second dose of Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine comes 21 days after the first, and some studies show the vaccine could begin to provide protection against COVID-19 just 10 days after the first shot. The Moderna vaccine is also administered in two doses, the second dose is given around 25 days later.
Moderna’s vaccine is up for emergency approval by the FDA on Dec. 17 and could get it approved by Dec. 21. If that happens, Austin healthcare leaders expect the Moderna vaccines to begin arriving next week.
“Once we can get people immunized, we’ll be able to get people back into society and see our loved ones and protect them,” Dr. Lakey said.