COVID-19 vaccine distribution 3x higher now than December but when can everyone get a vaccine?

Texas Coronavirus Vaccine

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The distribution of COVID-19 vaccine in Texas is accelerating. For the week of March 1, Central Texas is getting approximately 69,000 vaccine doses. That is more than three times higher than the 22,000 doses the region averaged each week in December.

Here’s what that breakdown looks like in terms of averages per month:

  • December – 22,183 doses per week (3 weeks)
  • January – 22,919 doses per week (4 weeks)
  • February – 39,131 doses per week (4 weeks)
  • March – 69,150 (1 week so far)

These numbers include vaccine doses for 15 counties in Central Texas, the largest of which is Travis County. Austin has got the lion’s share of those Central Texas doses. Here’s the breakdown for Travis County:

The 250% increase in Travis County was not quite as high as the 312% increase the region saw. That’s because in December, very few rural counties were getting vaccine doses. That started to change substantially in late January and early February.

For example, here is the per week distribution for the rural Hill Country counties:

When vaccines could be available for all

With so many more doses coming, when could it open up to more people? And when can everyone get a vaccine?

President Joe Biden says there will be enough COVID-19 vaccine for every adult by the “end of May.” The president is hopeful as a third major pharmaceutical giant — Johnson & Johnson — starts to distribute its one-shot vaccine.

More specifically, interim Austin-Travis County Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott says Travis County has administered both vaccine doses to 85,070 people as of March 1. Meanwhile, 117,138 people over the age of 60 who are eligible to receive the vaccine are still waiting on the county’s waitlist.

Courtesy: Austin Public Health

It could take somewhere between four and nine weeks to get all those people off the waitlist. That’s because Austin Public Health is getting 12,000 doses of vaccine each week, while Travis County is getting an additional 25,700 doses at 20 other locations.

It’s reasonable to assume that many of those people will get the vaccine as soon as possible even if it’s not with Austin Public Health. If the county maximizes those resources, it could potentially vaccinate everyone who is eligible and waitlisted within the next month. Otherwise, it could take more than two months.

President Biden also announced his goal of getting all teachers vaccinated by the end of March. Expect Texas and other states to open up vaccines to more people by late March or early April.

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