The Texas Department of State Health Services will no longer allocate COVID-19 vaccine to providers on a weekly basis, but will fill vaccine orders instead.
Now that the supply of COVID-19 vaccine is regularly exceeding demand, DSHS will fill vaccine orders from providers as they come in and ship vaccine from the DSHS Pharmacy or place orders with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on a daily basis, according to a DSHS news release.
“This is a big step in vaccine distribution,” said Imelda Garcia, DSHS associate commissioner for laboratory and infectious disease services. “The ability to ship vaccine to pharmacies, doctors’ offices, and other providers as they need it will go a long way to making sure it is available when and where Texans want to be vaccinated.”
Vaccine is available more widely than ever at hundreds of locations across Texas, many with no waiting and no appointment needed. Denton County Public Health will soon transition away from having large-scale vaccine clinics at Texas Motor Speedway because it has caught up to its waitlist.
Convenience will be key to getting the next group of Texans vaccinated, the news release said, and DSHS is working with existing providers, employers and community organizations to make vaccination as easy as possible. More information on the vaccine, including tools to locate providers, is available at covidvaccine.texas.gov.
DSHS is also encouraging providers to vaccinate anyone who wants to be vaccinated, even if that means opening a new vial for that person without knowing whether all doses will be used. More than 11.3 million people in Texas have received at least one dose, and over 8.3 million are now fully vaccinated. More than half of all eligible Texans have gotten a dose of vaccine, and about 37% are fully vaccinated.