The rush to get a COVID-19 is becoming a lot easier for those who want them in North Texas, and soon the same could be said across the state.
BROOKE KATZ: The rush to get a COVID-19 shot is becoming a lot easier for those who want them in North Texas. And soon, the same could be said across the state. Ken Molestina joining us now to explain. Ken?
KEN MOLESTINA: You know, Brooke, earlier today, MedStar offered up to 1,000 vaccines along with the city of Fort Worth to those who are eligible for them. But they did not need an appointment to get the shot. Now, next week on Monday, very important here, because the state of Texas will begin offering vaccines to anyone over the age of 16 who wants them.
Throughout the day on Wednesday, things were running smoothly.
THERESA BERRY: Walked in, walked out, piece of cake.
KEN MOLESTINA: And quickly--
THERESA BERRY: Didn't have no problems. I feel good.
KEN MOLESTINA: At the Handley-Meadowbrook Community Center in East Fort Worth, where the city, along with MedStar, ditched the appointment list and vaccinated anyone who walked up and met the criteria for the shot. People like Mike Harrison, who recovered from the virus recently.
MIKE HARRISON: After having COVID, yeah. You know, I'm hoping-- somebody told me if you got the shot, you'd get your taste and smell back, so I'm hoping for that.
KEN MOLESTINA: The loosening of restrictions to get a shot throughout Texas will really start to take hold come Monday, March 29. State officials say on that day, they'll begin allowing anyone over the age of 16 to register for a vaccine. The reason? More and more doses are flooding the state.
CHRIS VAN DEUSEN: Looks like we'll get more than a million first doses next week from the federal government. And then what we're hearing from our federal partners is that they expect that to increase in the month of April as well.
KEN MOLESTINA: Chris Van Deusen is the spokesman for the Department of State Health Services. He says the opening of registrations to anyone over 16 should mean eight to 10 million new people in Texas will become vaccinated.
CHRIS VAN DEUSEN: Vaccine is still coming. We're still going to get more and more vaccine every week. And so, you know, because we're opening it up to a broader population doesn't mean everybody can get it on Monday, or everybody can get it next week. It's still going to take some time.
KEN MOLESTINA: All right, folks. So if you are interested in getting the shot starting Monday, state officials say that you do still need to register, for one, to receive it at any of these state-run sites. And by the way, state officials say they have already administered, Brooke, get this. Their 10th millionth dose of the vaccine. So they're moving along quickly.
BROOKE KATZ: They really are. All right, Ken. Thank you so much.