As Texas ramps up vaccine programs, more doses getting sent from state offices in Austin

Texas Coronavirus Vaccine
SENIOR LIVING CENTER VACCINE

A healthcare worker at a Central Texas senior living facility readies a syringe of COVID-19 vaccine to administer to a facility resident on Jan 25, 2021. (Nexstar Photo/Ed Zavala)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Over the past couple of weeks, the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses allocated for state offices in Austin to distribute across Texas has increased.

While the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) allocates doses by county to maintain equity across the state, some doses aren’t assigned to a particular county and are left for state agencies to distribute. DSHS sends doses to many of its offices and clinics across the state, and in recent weeks, more and more of these doses have been sent to the Austin offices of state agencies.

This week, Texas is working to distribute more than 800,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses (the third-largest weekly allotment the Lone Star State has received so far). Of those doses, 22,230 Pfizer doses are scheduled to go to the Texas DSHS Laboratory in Austin.

What will those doses be used for?

A DSHS spokesperson explained those 22,230 doses will be delivered to Austin and distributed to statewide vaccination efforts as needed. These efforts include the Texas Department of Emergency Management/ Texas Military department administering vaccines for the Save our Seniors initiative, as well as for pharmacies vaccinate those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

DSHS explained that with the Save our Seniors program to help homebound seniors, the doses are sent from Austin to Texas Military Department armories and then administered in those areas.

A DSHS spokesperson also explained that even if these state-designated doses are shipped to a Travis County address, they don’t count against Travis County’s totals because the vaccines are to be used all over the state (these doses are labeled Travis_State in DSHS charts).

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced the Save Our Seniors program on February 25 and the state vaccine doses allocated through Austin increased that week (Week 11) and progressively each week since.

The Texas Department of Public Safety’s Austin office has also been getting some of their own allocations for statewide use.

KXAN asked DPS about its most recent allotment of 1,000 doses and the department sent the following statement in response.

“The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) received an allotment of COVID-19 vaccine for use internally for the department’s front line first responders around the state. Specially trained members of the DPS Operational Medicine Unit are now administering vaccinations to employees at select locations across the state. No additional information is available.”

Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson

COVID-19 vaccine doses sent to state facilities in Austin

WeekCOVID-19 vaccine doses allocatedSpecifics
1422,230-Texas DSHS Laboratory: 22,230 Pfizer doses
1326,700-DSHS Central Pharmacy Warehouse: 25,700 doses (2,500 Moderna, 11,700 Pfizer, 11,500 J&J)
-Texas Department of Public Safety: 1,000 Moderna doses
128,840-DSHS Central Pharmacy Warehouse: 6,000 Moderna doses
-Texas Department of Public Safety: 500 Moderna doses
-DSHS Laboratory: 2,340 Pfizer doses
116,100-DSHS Central Pharmacy Warehouse: 6,100 Moderna doses
103,500-DSHS Central Pharmacy Warehouse: 3,500 Moderna doses
9500-Texas Department of Public Safety: 500 Moderna doses
8None
72,300-DSHS Central Pharmacy Warehouse: 2,200 Moderna doses
6None
52,900-DSHS Central Pharmacy Warehouse: 2,900 Moderna doses
41,000-DSHS Central Pharmacy Warehouse: 1,000 Moderna doses
3None
21,200-DSHS Central Pharmacy Warehouse: 1,000 Moderna doses
-Texas Department of Public Safety: 200 Moderna doses
1None

This increase in doses for state agencies comes at a time when Austin Public Health and other providers are hoping for an increase in doses. For around 10 weeks now, local hub provider Austin Public Health has received around 12,000 vaccine doses per week.

“APH has and will continue to advocate for increased vaccine allocations,” the department told KXAN.

On Sunday, APH told KXAN that despite the fact the state is opening up vaccine registration to 1C individuals on March 15, APH still has a waitlist of around 200,000 people from the 1A and 1B groups who need to get their vaccines.

“It’s important to note that more local providers, such as pharmacies, have begun to receive smaller allocations, and people can search for available vaccines from other providers at vaccinefinder.org,” APH told KXAN on Monday.

COVID-19 vaccine doses sent to Austin Public Health

WeekCOVID-19 vaccine doses allocatedSpecifics
1412,000-12,000 Moderna doses
1312,100-12,000 Moderna doses went to the APH hub system
-100 J&J doses for APH Shots for Tots/Big Shots clinic
1212,000-12,000 Moderna doses
1112,000-12,000 Moderna doses
1012,000-12,000 Moderna doses
912,000-12,000 Moderna doses
812,000-12,000 Moderna doses
712,000-12,000 Moderna doses
612,000-12,000 Moderna doses
512,000-12,000 Moderna doses
4None
3300-SARS CoV2 Immunization Team got 300 Moderna doses
21,000-1,000 Moderna doses
1None

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