AUSTIN (KXAN) — With emergency approval over the weekend, the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is being distributed all over the country and is confirmed to be in Austin on Monday.
There are 224,250 doses on the way to the Lone Star State, and several hospitals around Austin are set to receive them in order to vaccinate health care workers first.
Dell Medical School was the first hospital to receive its allotment of the vaccines, a doctor there confirmed with KXAN around 10 a.m. Monday. It is the only hospital in Austin receiving vaccines Monday, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
This comes after the Food and Drug Administration approved an emergency use authorization Friday for the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The move marking the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination as the first-ever approved vaccine ready to administer in the fight against COVID-19.
The Texas Department of State Health Services will send the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines to the following hospitals in the Austin-area:
Seton Medical Center Austin – 2,925 doses
UT Health Austin (Dell Medical School) – 2,925 doses (UT Austin said these are the doses going to its campus)
Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas – 1,950 doses
Dell Seton Medical Center At University of Texas – 1,950 doses
South Austin Medical Center – 975 doses
Austin State Hospital – 975 doses
North Austin Medical Center – 975 doses
St. David’s Medical Center – 975 doses
Round Rock Medical Center Round Rock – 975
Baylor Scott White Health MC Round Rock – 975
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: How will the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine be rolled out in the Austin area?
DSHS released a schedule of when hospitals around Texas would get their vaccines Monday and Tuesday.
San Antonio Wellness 360 (UTHealth San Antonio)
Dallas Methodist Dallas Medical Center
Austin UTHealth Austin Dell Medical School
Houston MD Anderson Cancer Center
Amarillo Texas Tech Univ. Health Science Center Amarillo
Corpus Christi Christus Spohn Health System Shoreline
Dallas Parkland Hospital
Dallas UT Southwestern
Edinburg Doctors Hospital at Renaissance
Edinburg UT Health RGV Edinburg
El Paso University Medical Center El Paso
Fort Worth Texas Health Resources Medical Support
Galveston University of Texas Medical Branch Hospital
Houston Texas Children’s Hospital Main
Houston LBJ Hospital
Houston CHI St. Luke’s Health
Houston Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center
Houston Houston Methodist Hospital
Houston Ben Taub General Hospital
Lubbock Covenant Medical Center
San Angelo Shannon Pharmacy
Temple Baylor Scott and White Medical Center
Tyler UT Health Science Center Tyler
Dr. David Lakey, vice chancellor for health affairs and chief medical officer for the University of Texas System and member of the Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Task Force, said this is a moment the country has been waiting for.
“We’re very excited that this is the light at the end of the tunnel,” Dr. Lakey said. “A lot of planning has been put into place so that they can very quickly start immunizing individuals.”
Right now, Dr. Lakey said hospitals are working on logistics, from how they accept the shipment of vaccines to finding secure places to administer the shots to workers.
“All those things have to take place and be done right if we’re going to go from this pizza box of vaccines that’s arrived to actually having vaccines in people’s arms,” he explained.
Dr. Lakey thinks it’ll be a while before the vaccine will be available to the general public. He estimates people should be able to get a vaccine if they want one by late summer of 2021.
“This may happen quicker, for a variety of reasons, it may happen a little bit slower depending on supply chain and the logistics,” Dr. Lakey said.
Once ready to go, immunization will consist of two doses. The second dose of Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine comes 21 days after the first, and some studies show the vaccine could begin to provide protection against COVID-19 just 10 days after the first shot. The Moderna vaccine is also administered in two doses, the second dose is given around 25 days later.
Moderna’s vaccine is up for emergency approval by the FDA on Dec. 17 and could get it approved by Dec. 21. If that happens, Austin healthcare leaders expect the Moderna vaccines to begin arriving next week.
“Once we can get people immunized, we’ll be able to get people back into society and see our loved ones and protect them,” Dr. Lakey said.