Governor Greg Abbott travelled to Arlington on January 11th to tour a mass COVID-19 vaccination site and provide an update on COVID-19 vaccine efforts in Texas. The Governor was joined by TDEM representative Josh Roberts, DSHS Commissioner John Hellerstedt, MD, Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams, Tarrant County Judge B. Glen Whitley, Texas Health Resources CEO Barclay E. Berdan, and Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja.


This report is intended to give you an overview and highlight of the discussions on the various topics taken up. It is not a verbatim transcript of the discussions but is based upon what was audible or understandable to the observer and the desire to get details out as quickly as possible with few errors or omissions.


Governor Greg Abbott

  • Just visited the vaccination site; feedback states this process has been streamlined and
  • Process in Arlington is being replicated in other sites across Texas
  • Never before has Texas vaccinated so many people so quickly; one month ago today the Pfizer vaccine was authorized and a week later it was distributed to the state
  • 25,000 vaccines distributed in that first week and then Moderna was authorized during the Christmas holiday
  • As of today 1,580,400 doses of the vaccine have been distributed
  • 802,507 doses have been administered; 83,538 are second doses
  • Still remains 777,897 doses that are either not yet reported or are waiting to be given to Texans
  • Texas has provided 487,500 doses for nursing and long care health centers; CVS and Walgreens are authorized to give those doses
  • Are 412,188 of those doses have not been reported and are waiting to be given to long term care residents
  • All numbers are changing on a daily basis; will see different numbers as the days go on
  • Differential between those provided and those that have been administered
  • Have been 877,815 have received Pfizer or Moderna vaccine; some doses have not been provided to Texans
  • Some providers are holding doses so they would be able to provide a second dose to those who have already gotten a first one
  • Have communicated to them they do not need to hold another dose for those individuals as more doses will be continuously distributed to the state
  • Speed at which doses are administered for those long-term care centers are being given more slowly than other sites; multiple state leaders have urged CVS and Walgreens to move at a faster pace
  • In the past few weeks have expanded who is eligible for the vaccine; 1A is health care providers, 1B 65 and older or over 16 with certain health care conditions
  • Have made that decision based upon who is the most likely to lose their life or face serious hospitalizations; should decrease fatalities and hospitalizations
  • Have shifted the model in the past week from an extreme large number of vaccination distributors to a smaller number who have the ability to distribute them quickly
  • Are currently 28 hub vaccination centers across the state; are 206 smaller locations in smaller communities
  • Providers in 104 counties will be receiving vaccines this week; providers in other counties will be administering doses they already have
  • Will expand the vaccination structure in ongoing weeks; do have a limitation in the supply of the vaccination
  • Each week, Texas is slated to receive 310,000 first doses and between 320,000 and 500,000 second doses; numbers do not count long term care or nursing home facilities
  • Expect weekly number of first doses to increase
  • Biggest complaint is inadequate supply; is completely up to the federal government
  • Healthcare workers, those 65 and older, or those 16 and older with certain health conditions
  • Antibody therapeutic drug administration centers are opening in the Arlington, FT worth, and Irving; will manage 13 like this across the state in addition to the antibody centers at hospitals across the state


DSHS Commissioner John Hellerstedt, MD

  • Goal is to vaccinate with deliberate speed, and be accountable for it; having patient vaccination data is essential
  • Very confident vaccination efforts will accelerate more; efforts are getting done through partnerships with local governments and public/private partnerships
  • State is not holding back on distributing the vaccination, but are limited by the federal government


Josh Roberts, TDEM

  • Have distributed 588 million PPE items to people across the state; 45 million to the DFW area
  • Have started up two fusion centers in this area, like the Governor mentioned
  • Still important to keep up preventative measures; 77 operating free testing centers across the state


Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams

  • State, county, local, and private entities have all been working to get this done
  • Discusses Arlington’s vaccination facility; challenge is to get the vaccines administered as soon as they are distributed
  • Reiterates the importance of the vaccine and other preventative measures


Tarrant County Judge B. Glen Whitley

  • Texans need to be vaccinated; talked with 10 county judges around Tarrant County and are registering them in the Tarrant County database, and they will come to receive their vaccination
  • Goal is the use up the vaccines by the end of the week; reiterates the importance of the public/private partnership that created this facility


Texas Health Resources CEO Barclay E. Berdan

  • Were able to administer 20,000 does in the first couple weeks to population 1A, now also focusing on 1B
  • Will open 4 clinics around Tarrant County and will take about 7,000 patients and help the county work down the list of those who have registered on their website


Vinny Taneja, Tarrant County Public Health

  • Similar sites are being set up across the area; more partners will be coming on board


Questions & Answers


Q: Breakdown in communication between providers and whether they will get the vaccine

  • Abbott – Have improved communication with providers due to the ability for individuals to pre-register for the vaccine


Q: Question inaudible Comptroller’s revenue estimate, capitol security

  • Abbott – Capitol is secured
  • Abbott – Have been working to ensure we are prepared to deal with budgetary pressures to continue to fund the current and future budgetary cycle
  • Abbott – As we distribute vaccines and decrease hospitalizations, the economy will snap back
  • Abbott – For example, oil prices have doubled; more jobs will be available
  • Abbott – Some people are predicting a faster-than-average economy for 2022-2023


Q: How is the state going to get the vaccine to more rural counties?

  • Abbott – An effective strategy has been a larger county reaching out to the smaller ones to help with administration of the county
  • Abbott – 104 smaller counties are specifically getting a distribution to ensure they have enough
  • Abbott – Residents in all 254 counties have received a vaccine


Q: Has anyone signed up to get a vaccine from the big hub who are not in this county?

  • Judge – Those from other counties have already made appointments and received their vaccines
  • Judge – Some have set up mobile sites; hope one day we can get out to them and
  • Abbott – Texans can receive a vaccine from any county in the state; however, want to make it convenient

Q: What do you have to say about Trump and the recent events at the U.S. Capitol?

  • Abbott – Those who performed the violence are the ones to blame
  • Abbott – Social media companies by law have an “open platform;” cannot cancel conservative voices


Q: What do you have to say about a possible Trump resignation?

  • Abbott – All of this is political machinations; Americans want to see action from Congress that will help them