coronavirus vaccine

North Texas Vaccine Providers Hope There's Enough Supply for Pharmacy Rollout Plan

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In the race to vaccinate, the Biden administration is trying to ramp up the rollout by sending vaccines directly to pharmacies next week.

Until now in Texas, county-run hubs did the heavy lifting when it comes to vaccine distribution.

But just like with testing, getting vaccines in the hands of smaller providers could be key for making sure everyone's reached according to health officials like Dallas County Health Director Dr. Philp Huang.

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"Certainly, the more vaccine we can get out there, that's a good thing,” Hunag said.

The federal plan, announced Tuesday, would distribute directly to pharmacies starting Feb. 11.

Distribution will start with national chains, including a Plano CVS.

Though it promises to come with increased distribution, Huang wondered if it would be enough as those giving the vaccine beg for more.

"I think bottom line for everyone is just that the supply is still limited,” Huang said.

It's a problem Dougherty's Pharmacy lead clinical pharmacist Dawn Moshier is living daily.

"[The vaccine] is liquid gold,” Moshier said.

At the end of December, Moshier was one of the few independent pharmacists lucky enough to get an initial allotment of 500 Moderna vaccines.

She administered all of them for long-term care facility residents and doctor’s offices.

Five hundred more doses of the vaccine arrived in mid-January labeled as second doses.

But according to Moshier, they arrived several days before they could be safely and effectively administered, per Moderna’s guidelines.

"We called the state and we asked and they said, 'You can't hold anything.' I said, 'But you're telling me they're second doses. But I can't hold it in the fridge, because nobody can hold anything.’ So I gave them, and they're all first doses to everybody,” Moshier said.

A spokesperson for the Texas Department of State Health Services said it instructed providers to hold back the second dose, to ensure full vaccination for patients.

“This is unprecedented territory, so I can see why there's a lot of information misconstrued across the board,” Moshier said.

Now, as the clock ticks for Moshier’s patients, DSHS said it’s trying to find second doses for them.

Like everyone else, they remain limited by supply.

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