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Texas not promised anything from national COVID-19 vaccine reserve

The state health department expected to receive about 13,000 more doses next week, making it a total of approximately 330,000 doses.

HOUSTON — Texas wasn’t promised anything out of the national COVID-19 vaccine reserve, according to Chris Van Deusen, Director of Media Relations for Texas Department of State Health Services.

KHOU 11 started asking questions after Oregon governor Kate Brown tweeted she’d been told the states won’t be receiving more vaccine doses out of federal reserve because there was no federal reserve. This was followed by a tweet from Colorado governor Jared Polis, who said the state was expecting 210,000 doses next week, only to find out it might only get 79,000.

This comes after The Washington Post reported the promised extra vaccine doses from the federal reserve did not exist when on Jan. 12, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced the federal government was going to start releasing the coronavirus vaccine it held back for the second shot.

“We were told today on a call with Operation Warp Speed that those doses have been sent out in the last few weeks,” Van Deusen said. 

The Washington Post reported the Trump administration started shipping out the vaccine directly off the manufacturing line beginning late December. 

KHOU 11 emailed, texted and tweeted Governor Greg Abbott’s media relations team but have not heard back.

Van Deusen said the state expected to receive about 13,000 more doses next week, making it a total of approximately 330,000 doses.

“We never know what we’re going to get,” Van Deusen said, adding the word from the federal government typically comes on Tuesdays. 

Van Deusen said starting this week, Texas will be able to allocate more vaccine to providers, because it is no longer required to set aside 120,000 doses for long-term care facilities. Federal partners like CVS and Walgreens, who are working on vaccinating people living and working in long-term care facilities, will be providing the rest of the doses.