The incredible development of two over-90% effective COVID-19 vaccines gives us a chance to finally overcome the pandemic for once and for all this year. However, a vaccine rollout of such historic scale has faced logistical challenges, and moved more slowly than many Americans have hoped. Our home state, though, has stood out for its success in getting millions vaccinated in only about two months, in both cities and rural areas alike across Texas, from the Piney Woods to El Paso. In Texas 12, there are now tens of sites to get vaccinated if you qualify, including at vaccine “hubs” from those at Tarrant County Public Health on Main Street, Fort Worth, to out at the Parker County Hospital District.
Beginning in January, the State of Texas began to establish large vaccine “hub” sites across the state, which can provide thousands of vaccines per week at easy-to-find locations. The hubs have already been a tremendous success. You know I have to say it: everything is bigger in Texas. Even the number of COVID-19 vaccines administered. In mid-January, Texas became the first state in the country to administer over 1 million COVID-19 vaccines. Last week, Texas surpassed the 3 million mark and set a new daily record of almost 180,000 vaccinations in one day. What’s said to be the largest vaccine drive-through clinic in the state, and even in the country, also opened last week right here in North Texas, at the vaccine hub at the Texas Motor Speedway.
Our vaccine rollout has made it a priority to get shots into the arms of Texans in rural communities, where healthcare has historically been harder to access. Just a few weeks ago, the Parker County Hospital District was selected by the Texas Department of State Health Services to serve as a Regional Rural Vaccine Hub, a true triumph for Parker County. As a Regional Rural Vaccine Hub, the Parker County Hospital District has the capacity to administer about 2,000 doses per week, and it’s already off to a strong start. About 5,000 people have already been vaccinated.
Thanks partly to Regional Rural Vaccine Hubs like that at the Parker County Hospital District, even rural Texas counties now lead the country in vaccine rates: throughout January, rural Texas counties accounted for 8 out of the top 11 counties in America. These numbers will only continue to increase: Starting last week, Governor Abbott began sending mobile vaccination teams to rural parts of Texas, with the help of Texas Guardsmen.
Texans have always overcome tough times and now is no different. It’s been heartening to see how our whole state has pulled together to support the vaccine rollout, from the factories to the frontlines. Remember though that for now, demand for the vaccine still exceeds the supply coming to Texas, and that as Governor Abbott has said, the best treatment is prevention. We’re getting closer to the light at the end of the tunnel, but only your continued cooperation will keep it shining.
Click here to learn more about vaccine hubs, contact information, and sign-up links, including in Tarrant, Wise, and Parker Counties.
Member of Congress