A Cooke County family medical clinic will be the first in the area to receive doses of the Moderna vaccine for COVID-19, the Texas Department of State Health Services announced.
Family 1st Care in Gainesville is the only Cooke County establishment listed to receive the vaccine in Week 2, a list posted by the DSHS shows. No Cooke County providers were listed as recipients during Week 1.
Jill Fuhrmann, a nurse practitioner with Family 1st Care, said by phone Tuesday the clinic's allotment is already spoken for. It'll be administered to "Tier 1" first responders, like hospital nurses and firefighters, she explained. The clinic's own staff aren't classified as Tier 1. They're Tier 2, she said.
The state is anticipating 620,400 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to be distributed to more than 1,100 providers in 185 counties for Week 2, the DSHS states.
"The CDC will deliver 460,500 doses of the vaccine manufactured by Moderna and 159,900 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to continue to vaccinate front-line health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities," according to the DSHS's website.
Hospitals, freestanding ERs, EMS providers, pharmacies, local health departments, health centers and other clinics will be receiving it.
DSHS has said it encourages providers that have received vaccine to partner with other health care facilities and workers in the area.
The Food and Drug Administration on Friday, Dec. 18, authorized an emergency rollout of the vaccine developed by Moderna Inc. and the National Institutes of Health, the Associated Press reported. The vaccine is very similar to one from Pfizer Inc. and Germany’s BioNTech that’s now being dispensed to millions of health care workers and nursing home residents.
Most of Texas's allocation of the Pfizer vaccine, 124,800 doses, will go to the federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program. Vaccination under the program is expected to begin Dec. 28 in Texas, according to the DSHS. After that's allocated, the rest will be distributed to 29 hospitals that received Pfizer doses this week to continue vaccinating health care workers.
The two work “better than we almost dared to hope,” NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins told The Associated Press. “Science is working here, science has done something amazing.”
Early results of large, still unfinished studies show both vaccines appear safe and strongly protective although Moderna’s is easier to handle since it doesn’t need to be stored at ultra-frozen temperatures.