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Texas will receive 401,750 first doses of COVID-19 vaccine from the federal government for the week of Feb. 8. Henderson County Brookshires Pharmacy in Athens, Chandler, Kemp, and Mabank, as well as three new providers, will each receive 100 doses.

The Texas Department of State Health Services has instructed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ship those doses to 358 providers in 135 counties across Texas, including Cedar Creek Wellness Group in Mabank, Family Circle of Care in Athens, and Medical Associates of Athens.

That includes 85 hub providers that will focus on broader community vaccination efforts including the hardest hit populations and areas in exchange for a steady supply of vaccine from week to week.

An additional 273 providers will receive doses next week with a focus on those that serve older adults, such as health departments, pharmacies, federally qualified health centers, community and rural clinics, and some medical practices that specialize in care for older adults.

DSHS is encouraging providers to make accommodations for people 75 and older, who remain at the highest risk of severe disease, hospitalization and death from COVID-19.

For example, providers could set aside a certain number of doses for older adults, serve them during special hours, help them move through vaccine clinics more quickly, or work with local partners to facilitate in-home vaccination. This does not change the groups eligible for vaccination.

In addition to these first doses, the state is ordering 330,925 doses intended as the second dose for people first vaccinated a few weeks ago.

DSHS is working with providers to make sure that they order the number of second doses they need at the appropriate time to allow people to return to the same provider to receive their second dose within six weeks of getting their first.

Texas providers have administered nearly 2.9 million doses of vaccine. More than 2.2 million people have received at least one dose, and nearly 670,000 have been fully vaccinated. People are not required to be vaccinated in their county of residence, and vaccine has been administered to residents of all 254 counties.

Texas continues to vaccinate health care workers, residents of long-term care facilities, people 65 and older and those with medical conditions that put them at greater risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19.

The vaccine remains limited based on the capacity of the manufacturers to produce it, so it will take time for Texas to receive enough vaccine for all the people in the priority populations who want to be vaccinated.

Currently, there is not enough vaccine to supply every provider with vaccine every week. Johnson & Johnson filed with the Food and Drug Administration Feb. 4 for emergency use authorization to distribute its single-dose vaccine. The FDA will consider that application over the next few weeks.

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, visit dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/immunize/vaccine.aspx.

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