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Abbott announces initial COVID-19 vaccine distribution for December

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has allotted more than 1.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the state of Texas for December, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday.

The vaccines should begin arriving in Texas the week of Dec. 14 and will be distributed to “qualifying providers” who will immunize based on the Vaccine Distribution Principles developed by the state’s Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel, according to a news release from Abbott’s office.

A pinpoint date for Port Arthur and surrounding communities has not yet been announced.

According to the initial statewide distribution plan, health care workers who care for COVID-19 patients and other vulnerable residents will be among the first group to receive the vaccine.

The plan also addresses frontline workers at greater risk for contracting COVID-19; mitigating health inequities due to demographics, poverty and other factors; data-driven allocations; geographic diversity (access in urban and rural communities and in affected ZIP codes) and transparency through sharing allocations.

“The State of Texas is already prepared for the arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine, and will swiftly distribute these vaccines to Texans who voluntarily choose to be immunized,” Abbott said. “As we await the first shipment of these vaccines, we will work with communities to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

More doses could be allotted this month, but increased allotments are expected in January and the following months.