Texas is the first state in the union to administer more than one million first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, officials say.
The office of Gov. Greg Abbott said Thursday the milestone was reached exactly one month to the day after the first doses arrived at vaccine providers in the state.
According to the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, the Lone Star State has administered more first doses than any other state, with California, Florida and New York close behind.
“Texas is leading the way for our nation once again,” said Gov. Greg Abbott in a prepared statement. “This is the biggest vaccination effort we have ever undertaken, and it would not be possible without the dedication and tireless efforts of our healthcare workers. We still have a long road ahead of us, but Texans continue to prove that we are up to this challenge.”
Voluntary vaccination continues throughout the state for front-line health care workers, residents at nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and Texans over 65 or with a chronic medical condition to aid in reducing hospitalizations and protect the health of those in these vulnerable populations.
Earlier this week in Arlington, while visiting one of the state's 28 large-scale vaccination hubs, which plan to vaccinate up to 2,000 people per day at each location.
"Across the state, there are 28 large-scale hub location vaccine centers like this. There are 206 smaller locations in smaller communities around the state," Abbott said on Monday. "Each of these facilities will provide thousands of vaccines every single day making the process far more quick and far more efficient."
While in Arlington, Abbott said the state had roughly 750,000 doses of vaccine that were either not yet administered or the report on the administration had not yet been received. According to newer CDC data on Thursday, the number of vaccines distributed in Texas was now at 2.1 million with just under half having been reported as administered, leaving about 1 million unused or not yet reported.
If providers are holding back doses for second doses, Abbott urged them to distribute them now and rest assured more doses were on the way. The state is expected to receive 310,000 first doses of the vaccine each week along with 320,000 to 500,000-second doses each week -- and the allotment is expected to increase going forward.
Those allotments do not include what is being administered by CVS and Walgreens at nursing homes and long-term care centers.