Houston Some of the first frontline workers for the city of Houston have received their coronovirus vaccines on Monday after receiving 6,000 doses at the Houston Health Department and the Houston Fire Department.
Director of HHD Drs. Stephen Williams said the first shots would go to the 260 employees who qualified in Phase 1A. He said the Health Department is preparing to vaccinate 365 school nurses in Houston and Pearland school districts.
Houston Fire Chief Sam Pena said paramilitary workers would be the first people in his department to get the vaccine. Pena said more than 50% of firefighters said they were interested in receiving the vaccine. He said the support staff would be part of the Phase 1B rollout.
More than 400 firefighters have tested positive for the virus since the epidemic began. Three firemen have died. Pina said a firefighter went to the emergency room with respiratory problems on Monday and tested positive for COVID-19.
The Chief Medical Officer of Houston, Drs. David Perssey said that while the vaccine is still limited to people in Phase 1A and 1B, it will eventually be rolled out in a larger swath of the public.
“When your opportunity comes, please, feel comfortable,” said Pearse. “Get vaccinated.”
On Monday, Harris County Public Health is offering Modern COVID-19 vaccine supplements to those eligible for Phase 1A. HCPH is informing local partners who support eligible Phase 1A individuals and is already providing vaccinations to health staff.
There were reports of additional doses in Houston as new cases of the virus occurred in Houston.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said an additional 765 cases were reported on Monday, bringing the city’s total figure to 116,043. An additional death was reported, bringing the total number of deaths in the city to 1,544.
Turner said the positivity rate rose to 11.6% on Monday, almost half of the previous week.
With just three days left in 2020, Houston officials urged people to keep their gatherings short.
Turner said that people should cancel the New Year’s Eve meetings that cause people to gather in large numbers.
Meyer said he does not have the resources available to police bars and parties, but he is asking people to take personal responsibility in an effort to control the spread of the virus.
“We continue to ask people to recognize that when you gather in close proximity without your mask in large numbers, you’re creating a very bad environment,” Turner said.
Authorities also reminded people not to drink alcohol and drive and that firepower and celebrations are prohibited in Houston.
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