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Winter storms delayed COVID-19 vaccine distribution by a week, DSHS says

Texas health officials say providers are experiencing a flood of incoming vaccines this week.

AUSTIN, Texas — In a press conference on Tuesday spearheaded by the Texas Department of State Health Services, Texas health leaders said the winter storms have delayed COVID-19 vaccine distribution and allocation efforts by about seven days.

Imelda Garcia, MPH, the associate commissioner for laboratory and infectious disease services and the chair of Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel, said that as a result, providers can expect a flood of incoming vaccines to arrive this week as those from last week, in addition to the vaccines for this week, begin to arrive.

Garcia said many vaccines began arriving on Monday and that most – if not all – should have arrived at providers' doors by end of day on Tuesday. A total of 1.4 million doses are expected to arrive across Texas over these two days.

"I know that our providers have been eager to get back to vaccinating people in their communities and looking forward to catching up," said Garcia. "Hearing some of the stories from providers doing all efforts in order to save vaccines has been awe-inspiring."

Garcia said they have received reports of vaccines that were lost during the week of the storms. She said as of now, the number reported has been around the 1,000 mark, but the official tally could grow in the coming days. She said this is a small number compared to the number of vaccines that were shipped.

If you have a vaccine appointment scheduled in the coming weeks, Garcia suggested checking in with your provider to make sure the delays have not changed your scheduled date.

The press conference can be watched in full here:

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