Texas on brink of record 13,000 in hospitals as virus surges, vaccination goals fall short
AUSTIN, TEXAS — Texas was on the brink Monday of surpassing a record 13,000 patients hospitalized with Covid-19 as the number of new cases after the Christmas holiday continued surging.
Texas has set new highs for hospitalized Covid-19 patients seven times in the past eight days. Nearly 16,000 new cases were reported Monday.
Intensive care units in several parts of the state were full or nearly full Monday, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
As the state’s Covid-19 situation worsens, state officials say more vaccines on the way to Texas this week – but the vaccine doses given out thus far falls short of Gov. Greg Abbott’s prediction of one million vaccinations in December.
According to the state’s numbers, some 793,625 doses had been received by providers as of Monday morning. Of those, 414,211 — just over half of those delivered — had been administered, according to the agency’s dashboard.
On Monday, state health officials announced that 325,000 additional vaccine doses would be getting into the hands of 949 providers in 158 Texas counties over the next week, part of the first round of vaccinations for front-line health workers as well as nursing home residents, Texans over 65 and those with certain medical conditions, among others. Some 121,875 doses are earmarked for long-term care facilities such as nursing homes and assisted-living centers.
But with the number of vaccine doses available still falling far short of what’s needed to cover those who are eligible — and with state officials pushing hospitals and other providers to administer vaccine doses that the providers say they don’t have, aren’t sure are coming or have already administered — confusion and frustration have surrounded the initial few weeks of the vaccination roll-out.
With the new shipments this week, the state has been allotted a total of 1.5 million doses through the first four weeks of distribution, officials said Monday. Providers in 214 of the state’s 254 counties will have received shipments by the end of the week, health officials said.
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