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UTMB forced to cancel some scheduled COVID-19 vaccinations; Galveston County blames state for shortfall

Galveston County leaders aren’t happy with the state’s new vaccine distribution plan announced Monday by Gov. Greg Abbott.

GALVESTON COUNTY, Texas — While Texas Gov. Greg Abbott touted his new plan to focus on large hubs for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, some smaller counties and rural areas are feeling left out in the cold.

Abbott said thousands of vaccine doses will soon be sent to 28 hubs, including some in the Houston area.

But Galveston County leaders and others across the state aren’t happy with the new distribution plan.

“This plan will significantly prioritize urban areas over suburban and rural communities,” Galveston County said in a statement.

RELATED: Texas announces sites of vaccination hubs | Open for list

For example, Harris County will get one dose for every 165 residents compared to one dose for every 855 residents in Galveston County, the statement said.

After the county received its first shipment of the Moderna vaccine, appointments for people in group 1B quickly filled up.

“Neither the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) nor the Galveston County Health District are scheduled to receive any vaccine doses in the state’s current or subsequent distribution,” the statement said.

UTMB announced Monday it would be forced to cancel some of the scheduled vaccinations because of the new plan.

UTMB said it will run out of vaccines for first doses by Wednesday, Jan. 13. People who have scheduled appointments after Jan. 12, will be contacted to reschedule. They’ll be prioritized when more vaccine doses arrive.

This doesn’t include anyone scheduled to receive second doses. Those have already been set aside.

UTMB announced Monday it would be forced to cancel some of the scheduled vaccinations because of the new plan.

UTMB said it will run out of vaccines for first doses by Wednesday, Jan. 13. People who have scheduled appointments after Jan. 12, will be contacted to reschedule. They’ll be prioritized when more vaccine doses arrive.

This doesn’t include anyone scheduled to receive second doses. Those have already been set aside.

County leaders say they’re working with UTMB and local partners to explore other options to bring in more vaccines.

Abbott said vaccine doses will be delivered to 206 smaller locations, but didn't say where.

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