COVID-19 Vaccine Could be in Corpus Christi by Christmas
First responders will be first in line for COVID-19 vaccines, which could be available in Corpus Christi by Christmas. The city is expected to receive a limited supply by the end of the year, according to City Manager Peter Zanoni, adding that equipment to deliver the vaccine as well as the vaccines are already on order.
Zanoni said he received “official word from the state” that vaccines would be coming soon to the Coastal Bend. Gov. Greg Abbott announced in a news conference the previous week that Texas was in line for vaccines recently developed by pharmaceutical companies Moderna and Pfizer. Both companies are awaiting approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which has put testing and certification on a fast track.
“The state of Texas is prepared to quickly distribute those medications to Texans who voluntarily choose to use them,” Abbott said in a statement.
More than 20,000 people have died in Texas from COVID-19.
The vaccines require two doses within 21 to 28 days of each other. Moderna’s vaccine must be kept refrigerated; Pfizer’s must be transported and stored in subzero temperatures.
According to World Health Organization experts, up to 70 percent of the population will need to be vaccinated to reach population immunity. That could be a tough sell within the U.S. population. Only about 37 percent of those younger than 65 received a flu vaccine in the 2019-20 season. Over 65 years old, the rate for vaccination was 65 percent.
Vaccines will first go to front-line workers, the elderly, and the most vulnerable before reaching the general population. Texas has already submitted a plan for distribution, which prioritizes populations that need it most.
Texas health officials are also recruiting pharmacists and doctors to receive shipments and are teaching providers how to use an electronic system to record shots and track when the second shot is needed.
According to the two drug companies that developed the vaccine, they will be able to produce enough for 20-30 million of the 300 million U.S. residents before the end of the year.
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