The following is a statement from Barclay Berdan, FACHE, CEO of Texas Health Resources, regarding vaccine distribution and Gov. Greg Abbott’s plea to use all COVID-19 vaccines:
“At Texas Health, we agree with Gov. Abbott’s plea to use COVID-19 vaccines, which are safe and effective, and should be administered as quickly and efficiently as possible. Our distribution program focusing on healthcare workers follows the recommendations from the federal government and the guiding principles issued by the state of Texas.
“As of Dec. 31, we have received approximately 15,800 doses of the vaccine. The most recent shipment of 8,000 doses arrived on Dec. 30 and at year’s end we vaccinated more than 10,000 staff and physicians on our hospital medical staffs within four days of receiving each shipment of doses.
“The supply allocated to us so far will allow us to vaccinate more than half of our 29,000 employees and physicians practicing on our medical staffs. We hope that additional vaccine deliveries over the next two weeks will allow us to vaccinate all our essential workers.
“Additionally, we are already preparing for the next phase of vaccinations within our Texas Health community, which will include those at higher risk of complications from the disease – people in the Texas Department of State Health Services Phase 1B group.
“Also, during this phase, we will be partnering with other healthcare providers that don’t have access to the vaccine. This includes smaller hospitals, rehab hospitals, post-acute facilities, EMS agencies and ambulatory surgery facilities.
“Texas Health has identified community partners and physician offices that need assistance in vaccinating their employees and others in Phase 1B.
“I urge everyone to remain vigilant in your efforts to prevent the spread of the virus. While the vaccine is a significant advancement, we must continue to protect our community. Wear your mask, practice safe hand hygiene, safely distance and avoid crowds.
“We are fighting this pandemic together. The increasing number of COVID-19 patients and stress on our system’s critical-care capacity is directly related to the Thanksgiving holiday, and we fear the Christmas and New Year’s holidays will only increase the need for already limited resources.”