Teachers, listen up! Memorial Hermann is dedicating two days to vaccinate teachers and child care workers this coming Sunday and Monday.
MIYA SHAY: Late this afternoon, news that the City of Houston opened 1,600 vaccine slots had sent people scrambling to the internet. And yet, all the doses were filled within 10 minutes. Health Department director Stephen Williams says there's just not enough.
STEPHEN WILLIAMS: The demand is outstripping the supply.
MIYA SHAY: Just how lacking are we? State data shows 11.4 million people in phase 1A and 1B qualify for vaccines, but only 3.3 million doses have been allocated. That means even if every dose is used, only 30% of those eligible would get vaccines, and that frustrates Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia.
SYLVIA GARCIA: Because the supply just isn't there. When the Trump administration told us that they had-- I think they were going to do, like, 20 million vaccines was their goal, they never had that much shots. They didn't have enough supply to do that.
MIYA SHAY: Right now, the federal government distributes vaccines to the states. And in Texas, the state then allocates that to different health departments and hospitals. State Representative Senfronia Thompson wants the feds to send vaccines directly to large cities
SENFRONIA THOMPSON: That would seem to be a time saver. It would give us an opportunity to be able to work faster, make distributions quicker-- quicker throughout the hubs and the locations where we're going to be administering these vaccines, and would be a big help in getting people vaccinated faster.
MIYA SHAY: But the city health director says bypassing the state's tracking infrastructure may not actually save any time, that the only thing that will really help, he says, is more vaccines.
STEPHEN WILLIAMS: We can, in fact, administer vaccines ourselves internally within the Houston Health Department.
MIYA SHAY: Mm-hmm.
STEPHEN WILLIAMS: And we're working with a host of partners. That number could be quite large if the vaccines were, in fact, available.
MIYA SHAY: If you did get one of the city's vaccines today, the health department will be contacting you to schedule a time. In Houston, Miya Shay, ABC 13 Eyewitness News.