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'No vaccine should be kept in reserve:' State officials pushing for quicker shot administration to healthcare workers, Texans over 65

Tuesday's statement is ordering immediate administration of the COVID-19 vaccine doses that have already been received.

BEAUMONT, Texas — State officials are again urging facilities with the COVID-19 vaccine to give the shots 'immediately' to those eligible instead of keeping doses on the shelf. 

In a Tuesday statement, John Hellerstedt with the Department of State Health Services issued a statement saying, "All providers that have received COVID-19 vaccine must immediately vaccinate healthcare workers, Texans over the age of 65, and people with medical conditions that put them at a greater risk of severe disease or death from COVID-19. No vaccine should be kept in reserve."  

The statement comes after a Christmas Eve letter from the department, which warned that a 'significant portion' of vaccines in Texas might be just sitting in storage. 

The December 24 letter asked entities with the vaccine to 'add timeliness' and use 'a sense of urgency' to use the shots that have been shipped out. 

"We also know that every day a vaccine sits on the shelf is another day that prolongs the pandemic that is hindering our state's economy and way of life," Hellerstedt said in the letter. 

From a Department of State Health Services news release: 

DSHS Commissioner John Hellerstedt, MD, today released the following statement on vaccine administration in Texas:

“All providers that have received COVID-19 vaccine must immediately vaccinate healthcare workers, Texans over the age of 65, and people with medical conditions that put them at a greater risk of severe disease or death from COVID-19. No vaccine should be kept in reserve.”

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