Governor Greg Abbott met with state leaders, and a local hospital system executive, in Houston to discuss his priorities for Texas lawmakers. The meeting at Houston Methodist Research Institute was private, but Abbott made public remarks and included an update on the state’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout.


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 Abbott

  • In the roundtable, discussed lessons learned from COVID, ensuring capability of maintaining PPE supply chain availability, and Methodist’s vaccination data
  • Discussed the value from accessing and using telehealth; want to continue to expand even after the pandemic
  • Aim to address mental health needs caused by the pandemic that expand after it
  • Methodist is able to administer 4,000 vaccines in a single location in a single day
    • Has helped Texas become a national model for the vaccination program; have never been able to vaccinate this many people at one time
  • As of today, state has distributed 1,725,575 doses to providers; 1,358,678 of those have already been administered and 177,193 of which are second doses
  • Has administered 81% of fists doses, 61% of second doses, 78% of doses allocated have already been administered
  • Has provided 487,500 doses for nursing homes and long-term health care centers; CVS and Walgreens have administered 124,827 of those doses
    • State continues to insist Walgreens and CVS pick up their pace
  • Have been able to accelerate vaccine administration by setting up mass hub vaccination sites
  • Last week, were 28 large scale hub vaccine centers like at Methodist; this week, have 78 large scale hub vaccination centers (press release later said 77)
  • Will be 260 providers in 122 counties getting allocations; has been vaccinations in all 254 counties
  • Harris County has administered far more than any other county; 259,848 as of yesterday
    • Almost double than second largest administrator, Dallas County
  • Methodist is the largest administrator in Harris County
  • One limitation is an inadequate supply of vaccinations from the federal government
  • This week are slated to receive; 333,650 first doses, 509,400 second does; more than 843,000 doses
    • Does not count those administered in long term health care facilities
    • Expect to see increases in the amount of doses given to the state
  • On Sunday, Dr. Fauci said we should be weeks away from receiving the J&J and AstraZeneca vaccines
    • Will be able to vaccinate more people more rapidly
  • Methodist is using antibody therapeutic drugs as a treatment; are the leader of this
  • 12 antibody therapeutic drug administration centers across Texas; help keep people out of hospitals


Texas Department of Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd

  • Seeking efficiency has caused shortages
  • Will continue to source and administer PPE for healthcare/frontline professionals
  • Still need to continue testing protocols and do the things we have been doing


DSHS Commissioner John Hellerstedt, MD

  • Organization is well led, organized, and compassionate; not every hospital could set up a large-scale vaccination hub, like Methodist
  • Excited about prospect of more vaccines; still have to engage in preventative “defensive” measures until the end


Houston Methodist Hospital President and CEO Marc Boom, MD

  • Thanks the Governor and his team for their help during the pandemic
  • As of today, have administered 2,000 infusions of monoclonal antibody therapy; believes it helps keep people out of the hospital
  • Have fully vaccinated 77,000 people; are up about 100,000 who have gotten at least one vaccination
  • Methodist Hospital has vaccinated people from 712 zip codes across the state
  • Limiting factor is supply; need to focus on those preventative measures like Dr. Hellerstedt mentioned

Questions and Answers

Q: Why are the mayor and county judge are not here today?

  • Abbott – Purpose of last week to show what the rollout looks like; purpose this week is to highlight this hub as they are a leader in Texas
  • Abbott – Spend a lot of time talking to local officials to ensure a continued partnership


Q: Notes that a civic center in their community has only received 100 doses of vaccine; would you look in to that?

  • Kidd – Commit to continue to push the appropriate vaccine allocation for the area
  • Kidd – Jefferson County has received about 5,000 doses
  • Kidd – The allocations go straight to the providers; is not given to the state and then sent out


Q: Plans to make distribution more equitable?

  • Boom – Equity issues are critically important; are constrained by who applies
  • Boom – Now authorized to administer vaccines to those in 1A and 1B
  • Boom – Have invited those 75 and older in our databases to get a vaccine, and prioritized those who are the most ill and at-risk
    • Have pulled from the patient base and opened up a link for the community to apply
  • Boom – Looking zip code by zip codes to look at those who are particularly vulnerable and ensure those living in those areas get an invite to get a vaccine
  • Boom – Are working with federal health center, but currently is not enough vaccine for everyone
  • Abbott – Have set the phased allocation to ensure that those who are most vulnerable can get the vaccine first


Q: Are there any preventative measures to ensure only Texans are receiving the vaccine?

  • Boom – To my knowledge, have not provided a vaccine to those outside of Texas
  • Boom – Reiterates how their system works and that they have vaccinated those from 712 zip codes across the state


Q: Question regards capitol security and the upcoming inauguration

  • Abbott – DPS works with the FBI and local law enforcement; are on top of any potential threat
  • Abbott – Believes the inauguration will occur without any issues