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Waco, Temple hospitals to receive nearly 6,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses in first week of distribution

The state health department published its initial distribution plan Friday, which includes three local hospitals.

AUSTIN, Texas — Three area hospitals are set to receive doses of the COVID-19 vaccine during the first week of distribution throughout Texas, according to an allocation plan submitted for approval to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by the Texas Department of State Health Services

Baylor Scott and White Medical Center in Temple, Ascension Providence and Baylor Scott and White - Hillcrest in Waco are set to receive a combined total of nearly 6,000 doses of the vaccine once it is approved for use in the U.S. The Temple medical center will receive 3,900 doses, while the Waco locations will receive 975 doses each. 

According to the current DSHS vaccination plan, initial groups to receive the vaccine will likely include healthcare personnel who may be exposed to or treat people with COVID-19, people at increased risk for severe illness caused by the virus including those with underlying medical conditions and people 65 or older, and other vulnerable frontline workers. 

The DSHS said in a release that initial vaccine supply is limited and distribution is based on information submitted by vaccine providers, including the number of healthcare workers that can be vaccinated and vaccine storage capacity at each location.  

The first week's allocation in Texas includes 224,250 doses that will be shipped to 109 hospitals in 34 counties as early as the week of December 14, according to the state health department. However, the distribution date remains tentative, depending on when the Pfizer vaccine is approved for use in the U.S., the department said.

More vaccine does will be available in the coming weeks, the DSHS said in the release, including doses of the Moderna vaccine once it is approved for use.

The state health department said it submitted the plan to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention but has not yet been approved.

"The CDC has not yet approved the plan, and it will be updated based on CDC feedback and as additional information about vaccine development and availability is received," the department said in the release.