(The Center Square) – The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) is expanding its efforts to provide infusion centers, alternative care and COVID-19 vaccination distribution sites throughout the state.
Over the past week, it has announced the opening of infusion centers to provide antibody treatments to those who test positive for COVID-19 who qualify for treatment as an effort to reduce burdens on hospitals.
In addition to a new infusion center that opened in Austin, a new Alternate Care Site has been established to expand hospital capacity in the region.
The site opened Tuesday at the Austin Convention Center, providing additional hospital beds, medical equipment, and medical personnel to assist with the region's COVID-19 response. The facility has a capacity of 25 beds and can expand to more beds if needed.
The site “will reduce the burden on local hospitals and help ensure that Texans diagnosed with COVID-19 receive the care they need," Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement.
At the Arlington Expo Center, a mass vaccination site has been opened as the first of 28 sites to be established in 18 counties.
Vaccines are typically shipped and received multiple times per week, the governor’s office said, causing providers to work through the logistics of scheduling how and when Texans can receive the first of two doses of the vaccine. Establishing hub locations will provide a dependable supply for providers to use.
"The Lone Star State's mission is to use the resources and tools we have to get more shots in arms and keep Texans safe," Abbott said. “These vaccination hubs will expedite vaccine distribution and ensure efficiency in communities across the state. While vaccines are an important step in the long-term fight against the virus, I encourage Texans to continue to follow the best practices to keep yourself and loved ones safe like wearing a mask and practicing social distancing."
To date, more than 1.5 million vaccine doses have been delivered to providers across Texas. Of them, 802,507 doses have already been administered and successfully reported into ImmTrac2, the state’s immunization registry.
Of the 802,507 doses administered, 83,538 are second doses. The remainder, 777,897 doses, are either not yet reported into the system, or have not yet been given to Texans.
Texas has also received 487,500 doses for nursing homes and long term care facilities, which were administered by professionals from CVS and Walgreens. Among them, 75,312 have been administered so far, the governor’s office reports. The remaining 412,188 doses for LTC facilities and nursing homes have not yet been reported into the system or are waiting to be given.
Residents of all 254 counties in Texas have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
This week, Texas is on track to receive nearly 940,000 additional doses, including nearly 200,000 first doses delivered to providers in 104 counties.
For the remainder of January, Texas expects to deliver an additional 310,000 first doses every week and up to 500,000 second doses.