Houston Chronicle

Suburbs to become hubs for vaccine

- By Alejandro Serrano STAFF WRITER

State health officials have announced 79 hub providers that are expected to receive allotments of COVID-19 vaccines this week, including newly designated hubs in some suburbs of Houston.

The hub providers include two in Galveston County, one each in Fort Bend County, Montgomery County and Liberty County and six in Harris County, according to a list of the hubs that are intended to focus on mass vaccinatio­n efforts.

Officials plan to distribute 333,650 first doses of the vaccines to 260 providers across the state. Also, the state will order about 500,000 doses expected to be the second ones for people who received their first shots a few weeks ago.

Earlier this month, the Houston region’s three hubs all were in Harris County, making officials in some surroundin­g counties fear they’d been forgotten. The Texas Department of State Health Services previously said more hubs were likely to be added, but that the main obstacle was a short supply of vaccines.

“In the past week, Texas became the first state to administer 1 million doses of vaccine, and vaccine has been administer­ed to residents of all 254 counties,” state health officials said in announcing the allocation breakdown of the week’s doses. “Vaccine remains limited based on the capacity of the manufactur­ers to produce it.”

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston welcomed the news of being named a hub.

“We are pleased to gain this designatio­n and look forward to working with our partners in the region to vaccinate our patients and our community, once supplies for mass vaccinatio­n efforts are received,” UTMB said in a statement. “We continue to focus on vaccinatin­g as many individual­s as quickly as possible.”

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