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First COVID-19 vaccine delivery arrives at MD Anderson; TMC patients could get vaccine in January

MD Anderson Cancer Center became one of the first hospitals in the nation to receive a shipment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine Monday.

HOUSTON — MD Anderson Cancer Center received its first shipment Monday of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, launching a major effort to vaccinate frontline healthcare workers in the Texas Medical Center.

The hospital is among the first in the country to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Vaccination clinics for employees are scheduled to open Wednesday, the hospital said.

"If I didn't need to be wearing a mask, you'd see a huge smile on my face," said MD Anderson CMO Dr. Welela Tereffe. "Vaccinations are the light at the end of the tunnel. We are incredibly grateful to provide vaccinations to a segment of our frontline healthcare workers to protect our incredibly vulnerable patients."

MD Anderson said the first allotment will include 4,875 doses of the vaccine. Hospital officials said they've been preparing for weeks for the delivery and began stocking on tools to vaccinate people last week.

TMC officials said they expect hundreds of doctors, nurses and other key faculty members will be injected as early as this week once the allotment is received.

Dr. Marc Boom, the head of Houston Methodist Hospital, said the first patients could get the vaccine in the next three weeks.

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"We'll be pushing to get people immunized at higher risk as soon as we possibly can. I think that will most likely be – if we get the kinds of supplies we're being told we should expect – be around the turn of the year," Dr. Boom said. "So really, around New Years and first week of January we hope to be getting to patients."

Here are the facilities that will receive doses on Monday, according to the state: 

  • Wellness 360 (UTHealth San Antonio), San Antonio
  • Methodist Dallas Medical Center, Dallas
  • UTHealth Austin Dell Medical School, Austin
  • MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston

The facilities that will on Tuesday: 

  • Texas Tech University Health Science Center Amarillo
  • Christus Spohn Health System Shoreline, Corpus Christi
  • Parkland Hospital, Dallas
  • UT Southwestern, Dallas
  • Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, Edinburg
  • UT Health RGV Edinburg
  • University Medical Center El Paso
  • Texas Health Resources Medical Support, Fort Worth
  • University of Texas Medical Branch Hospital, Galveston
  • Texas Children's Hospital Main, Houston
  • LBJ Hospital, Houston
  • CHI St. Luke's Health, Houston
  • Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center, Houston
  • Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston
  • Ben Taub General Hospital, Houston
  • Convenant Medical Center, Lubbock
  • Shannon Pharmacy, San Angelo
  • Baylor Scott and White Medical Center, Temple
  • UT Health Science Center Tyler

Texas will receive more than 220,000 doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in the first week of distribution, state health officials say. 

Those doses will be shipping to 109 hospitals across 34 counties, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

MD Anderson released the following statement:

"The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is prepared to accept, store and distribute the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine following the Food and Drug Administration’s decision on Friday, Dec. 11, to grant Emergency Use Authorization. At present, state and local health officials have allocated 4,875 doses of vaccine in the first shipment to MD Anderson for use with frontline health care workers, which is scheduled for delivery on Monday, Dec. 14. Supplies needed to administer the vaccine were received last week.MD Anderson’s initial vaccination clinics will safely and efficiently vaccinate health care workers caring for highly immune compromised patients and those with increased risk of occupational exposure. Vaccination clinics are scheduled to begin on Wednesday, Dec. 16. MD Anderson is committed to providing workforce members accurate information to help them decide whether and when to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. All safety precautions and current COVID-19 protocols, including masking, social distancing, handwashing and visitor limitations, continue to be required." 

WFAA in Dallas contributed to this report.

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