AUSTIN, TX — Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday urged Texas health care providers to secure immunizations in order to be able to administer vaccines for the coronavirus once they are available.
To that end, health care providers are urged to enroll in the Texas Department of State Health Services' Immunization Program. Hospitals, medical practices, pharmacies, and long-term care facilities that want to participate are required to enroll as vaccine providers at EnrollTexasIZ.dshs.texas.gov to administer COVID-19 immunizations in Texas, the governor noted.
"While potential COVID-19 vaccines continue to undergo clinical trials, the State of Texas is taking a proactive approach to ensure the vaccine is distributed as quickly as possible once available," Abbott said in a prepared statement. "Providing Texans with access to a voluntary vaccine and efficiently administering the immunization will be essential to containing COVID-19 and protecting the health of our communities. I urge health care providers across the state to sign up for DSHS’ Immunization Program so they are prepared to administer the COVID-vaccine to Texans who choose to be immunized."
While vaccine production ramps up, Abbott added, the supply will be limited and provided to critical populations such as health care workers or people at a higher risk of severe disease. As more doses become available, the governor said, more of the enrolled providers will begin to receive vaccine for the people they serve.
Doses of the voluntary COVID-19 vaccine and the supplies needed to administer the immunization will be provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and shipped directly to providers after they are allocated by DSHS.
Under federal guidelines, providers who choose to participate must agree to administer vaccine regardless of a recipient’s ability to pay, provide a vaccination record to each recipient, store doses of vaccine under the proper conditions, and report the number of doses received and used. Any vaccine must be authorized by the Food and Drug Administration before it can be distributed in the United States. DSHS will host opportunities for public comment and provide more information about vaccine distribution as it becomes available.
For more information on the DSHS Immunization Program, visit the Immunization Program Portal.