1 million vaccine doses expected in Texas by year’s end

UPS driver Cornelious Littlejohn loads a box containing thousands of doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UPS Distribution Center in Austin, Texas, on Thursday Dec. 17, 2020. He was delivering them to the Dell Seton Medical Center. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — More than 1 million Texans are expected to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by the end of the month as part of the largest vaccination campaign in U.S. history, Gov. Greg Abbott said Thursday.

Texas had received about 95,000 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine through Wednesday with another 129,000 doses to be delivered Thursday, Abbott said. That number is expected to grow if the Food and Drug Administration quickly approves a second vaccine from the drugmaker Moderna, Abbott said.

At a press conference Thursday, Abbott said he had not yet been vaccinated but planned to do so after front-line health care workers are inoculated.

The vaccine is arriving as cases of COVID-19 and virus-related hospitalizations are on the rise. Texas reported 9,528 people hospitalized with COVID-19 and 252 more fatalities from the disease caused by the virus Wednesday. Intensive care units in some regions were at or near full capacity, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

There were 728.5 new cases per 100,000 people in Texas over the past two weeks, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins Unviersity. One in every 268 people in Texas tested positive for the virus in the past week.

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