The Texas Department of State Health Services will no longer allocate COVID-19 vaccines to providers on a weekly basis. Now that the supply of COVID-19 vaccine is regularly exceeding demand, DSHS will fill vaccine orders from providers as they come in and ship vaccines from the DSHS Pharmacy or place orders with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on a daily basis.
“This is a big step in vaccine distribution,” said Imelda Garcia, DSHS associate commissioner for laboratory and infectious disease services. “The ability to ship vaccine to pharmacies, doctors’ offices, and other providers as they need it will go a long way to making sure it is available when and where Texans want to be vaccinated.”
Vaccine is available more widely than ever at hundreds of locations across Texas, many with no waiting and no appointment needed. Convenience will be key to getting the next group of Texans vaccinated, and DSHS is working with existing providers, employers, and community organizations to make vaccination as easy as possible.
More information on the vaccine, including tools to locate providers, is available at covidvaccine.texas.gov.
With an ample supply of vaccine, providers no longer need to use every dose in the week they receive it but should store it under the conditions that will maximize its shelf life.
DSHS is also encouraging providers to vaccinate anyone who wants to be vaccinated, even if that means opening a new vial for that person without knowing whether all doses will be used.
More than 11.3 million people have received at least one dose, and over 8.3 million are now fully vaccinated. More than half of all eligible Texans have gotten a dose of vaccine, and about 37 percent are fully vaccinated.
As a result of the change to regular vaccine ordering, DSHS will no longer post weekly allocation tables. The state will also retire the weekly report on vaccine doses reported by providers as wasted.