Federal health officials are partnering with a North Texas-based company to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine to the public, even though there isn't yet a vaccine that's been approved.
Irving-based McKesson Corp. will be the centralized distributor for future COVID-19 vaccines, according to a letter from the Centers for Disease Control.
They'll deliver the vaccine and supplies to point of care sites across the U.S.
The Texas Department of State Health Services said it's now ramping up the state immunization registry, which they say, is now open to healthcare providers who wish to administer the vaccine.
"DSHS is actively planning for COVID-19 immunization distribution in partnership with the CDC. Final plans will depend on the formulation of the vaccine and the distribution schedule once one or more vaccines are approved. Healthcare providers interested in administering the COVID-19 immunization should register with ImmTrac2, the Texas immunization registry," said a DHSH spokesperson.
The president of the Dallas County Medical Society Dr. Mark Casanova said the vaccine rollout will be staged and the vaccine itself will not be perfect.
"A good outcome from a vaccine, what we consider to be a vaccine success, is a vaccine that reduces the transmission of the virus, or more specifically, the ability of an individual to acquire the infection. If they do acquire the infection, it will be a less severe infection. That's something we see every year with the seasonal flu vaccine," said Casanova.
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"We really need to focus on a couple of groups first. That's going to be our high-risk individuals, our nursing home patient and the like. It's going be our front line healthcare workers followed thereafter by critical infrastructure. Those are our police force, EMS and the like, and then individuals that don't have a choice about social distancing. That might be our children our teachers," he added.
Casanova said it could be months from the rollout before the vaccine is available to the general public at local pharmacies or doctors' offices.