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October 19, 2020      4:56 PM

State COVID-19 vaccine plan suggests first doses could arrive this year

Key questions remain: “We don’t know when vaccines will arrive. We don’t know which vaccines will arrive. We don’t know how much of any given vaccine will arrive,” Commissioner Hellerstedt said.

The Department of State Health Services expects to spend at least a year directly overseeing a multi-phase rollout of COVID-19 vaccine distribution, if and when one becomes widely available.

The Centers for Disease Control is requiring every state to file a vaccine distribution plan. This afternoon, Commissioner John Hellerstedt and Associate Commissioner Imelda Garcia presented a broad overview of the Texas plan to the newly reconstituted Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response, which was originally formed to address Ebola in 2014.

Vaccine allocation will be a complex and demanding task, Hellerstedt told the group, which includes both health professionals and agency heads.

By Kimberly Reeves

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