Five local hospitals will receive 11,700 doses of COVID-19 vaccines as part of its initial allotment once federal officials approve a vaccine later this month, officials said Monday.
Texas state health officials notified the county of the initial allotment, which represents the first round of shots that are expected to be administered. The earliest the Food and Drug Administration can give such approval to a COVID-19 vaccine is December 10 during a scheduled meeting to review vaccine applications.
There are as many as 7,000 front-line health care workers in Hidalgo County and they are slotted to be the first to receive the vaccine under state guidelines. First responders and health care workers employed in long-term care facilities will be next in line to receive the vaccine.
“We are approaching a critical new phase of this pandemic,” Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez said. “Hopefully, this marks the beginning of the end of this crisis, but I remind everyone that we must not let our guard down.”
On Monday, the county reported five more COVID-19 related deaths and 386 new cases of the disease, bringing the total amount of known reported cases of the disease to 45,777.
2,484 of those cases remain active
According to the county, each of the pharmaceutical companies currently developing COVID-19 vaccines require two doses for the vaccine to be effective. The allotment is determined by state health officials who also determine the order in which the general population will be eligible to receive vaccines.