Texas will receive more than 1.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines this month, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday.
The vaccines are expected to arrive the week of Dec. 14 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
They will be distributed throughout the state and will be disseminated based on the vaccine distribution principles developed by the state's Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel.
Abbott said more shots will be available in January and the following months.
Getting one of these vaccines in Texas won't require you to show any type of documentation or proof of residency.
Both potential vaccines will require two doses, so the CDC will be shipping out a shot record card for people to take with them. While people will be able to go to a different location, they need to get a second shot of the same vaccine.
"You want to make sure that you get correctly vaccinated, so it's important the two doses have to be of the same brand," said Imelda Garcia, the chair of the Vaccine Allocation panel. "They're not interchangeable."
However, where you live could determine which type of shot is available, according to Garcia, who is the associate commissioner for Laboratory and Infectious Disease Services at the Texas Department of State Health Services.
While the potential Pfizer vaccine will need to stay in negative 80 degrees Celsius, the Moderna vaccine is only required to be refrigerated for 30 days.
The state will try to balance the types of vaccines sent to the different parts of the state, but Garcia said leaders do expect more Moderna vaccines in rural areas.
"We want the Moderna vaccine to help ensure that we have widespread coverage where there may be limitations on the storage capacities," Garcia said.
The Texas Department of State Health Service plans to create a tab or section on its website to help people see where vaccines are available across the state.
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When receiving the shot, Garcia said people will not be screened for residency status. Vaccine providers will ask for contact information to follow up about getting the second shot.
Garcia's team estimates there will be about 1.6 million health care workers in Texas that would be eligible to receive the vaccine within the first phase of distribution.
CDC leaders say they plan to ship vaccines to the states by December 14–15. They will also send needles and syringes to the same sites.
Garcia said there are currently more than 4,100 vaccine providers directly enrolled with the Texas Department of State Health Services.
There are also 2,400 sites a part of the federal chains, such as Walgreens and CVS.
In total, there are currently 6,500 sites in Texas.
Garcia said people need to think of the vaccine as a prevention tool.
"We need to be mindful of thinking that the vaccine is a silver bullet that is going to magically fix the hot spot of cases overnight, Garcia said. "Vaccines take a while to work."
All vaccines will be optional and free.