By: Michelle Layton
Gov. Abbott said Thursday that Operation Warp Speed is a “monumental miracle,” and there have already been about 95,000 doses of the Pfizer-produced vaccine delivered. It is estimated that an additional 129,000 doses will be delivered Thursday. The governor expects more doses next week following the assumption that Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine gains emergency clearance from the Food and Drug Administration, which an FDA panel will be discussing on Thursday.
Recent numbers regarding COVID-19 cases in Texas indicate record levels, roughly 1.3 million with nearly 25,000 deaths according to the Dept. of State Health Services. Abbott said Texas must use “every tool we have to reduce hospitalizations in the state. There will be well over a million people vaccinated in the state of Texas alone, just this month. Those numbers will continue to increase as production continues to increase.”
In addition to the vaccines, antibody therapeutic treatments produced by Regeneron and Eli Lilly need to be utilized, according to the governor. “There was great discussion when I was at the White House earlier this week about the urgency to make sure that these drugs are provided to people. These are life-saving antibody therapeutic drugs.”
Beginning Dec. 28, the Long-Term Care Pharmacy Partnership will activate and doses of the vaccines will be delivered to select Walgreens and CVS stores and available to nursing homes and other long-term care facilities for residents and employees. Doses for the partnership will be reserved starting next week.
The governor continued to reiterate that he won’t authorize anymore business shutdowns due to the pandemic. Abbott stressed, “Every adult in Texas has the responsibility to follow the same practices as we continue to work our way out of this. If they can do that, we can contain COVID-19 while we continue the process of vaccinating our fellow Texans and continue to open up.”
As of Dec. 16, Texas has officially reported 1,367,965 confirmed cases and 151,375 probable cases of COVID-19 in the state. Over the past seven days, the state has seen an average of 11,659 new confirmed cases and 2,339 new probable cases. As of Dec. 16, the state has officially reported 24,394 deaths. Over the past seven days, Texas has reported an average of 188 deaths each day. A confirmed case is a person who has tested positive on a molecular test. A probable case is a person who has tested positive on an antigen test, or someone who has known symptoms and known exposure to someone with COVID-19.
As of Dec. 16, the U.S. reported record high statistics for the novel coronavirus with more than 247,000 new cases, more than 113,000 hospitalizations and more than 3,600 deaths.