Millions of Texas Frontline Health Care Workers and Vulnerable Texans Can’t Get a Straight Answer About When the Vaccine Will Be Available
AUSTIN, Texas — Texans eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine cannot get any clear answers from Governor Greg Abbott about where or how to receive the vaccine.
Abbott has taken to shirking his responsibilities and shifting blame to local hospitals on the front lines of the pandemic, but those on the ground helping distribute the vaccine say the state has run out of its supply.
Additionally in December, Texas’ state health director John Hellerstedt, during a meeting with county judges frustrated with the state’s role out of the vaccine and its distribution said, “government has reached the limits of what it regulates and controls and licenses” in a fight against the outbreak.
“On Dec. 22, Gov. Greg Abbott sat in a conference room at the Ascension Seton Medical Center in Austin and rolled up his sleeve for the cameras. A nurse pricked a dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine into his left arm and state officials and hospital staff in the room applauded.
But in the days since that celebration, getting that vaccine to the people eligible to receive it has proven far from easy. The vaccine’s rollout has been marred by poor messaging from state officials, technical errors and logistical delays.”
“As the final hours of 2020 ticked away, it was unclear whether anyone in the state knew how many doses of the vaccine had been administered here. And after state officials had expressed concern that vaccines were going unused and urged providers to give them to anyone who was eligible, many who met the qualifications were finding it difficult — if not impossible — to track down anyone with vaccines to give.”
“The confusion left medical experts and people urgently awaiting the vaccine frustrated and questioning how the state would be able to handle smoothly administering vaccines to a population of nearly 30 million in the coming months.”
“All of this seems to have been avoidable if it had been properly thought through,” said state Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin.”
“The state data suggested that there was an ample supply of vaccine — enough to expand eligibility to the 1B group weeks ahead of time. But in reality — as thousands of Texans would soon discover — doses of the vaccine remained in short supply.”
Texans Don’t Need Abbott’s Excuses. We Need Answers and a Steady Supply of the COVID-19 Vaccine.
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:
“ As Abbott continues to make excuses and shift blame, Texans continue to die. Texas leads the country in the number of COVID-19 infections. The vaccine should not be in short supply less than two weeks after Governor Greg Abbott announced the vaccination program to much fanfare.
“Abbott should be demanding more vaccines from the failed Trump Administration for Texas as a measure to get this disastrous response under some type of control, not pointing the finger at local hospitals and pharmacies whose workers have put their own lives at risk to save our families.
“There is no excuse for Abbott’s failures as governor while the virus continues to push hospitals beyond their capacity and has claimed the lives of over 30,000 Texans. The stakes could not be higher, Abbott’s administration must make a plan, take responsibility, and get to work. ”