Cy-fair Edition | February 2021


COVID19 vaccine waitlist opens to public


as well, Hidalgo said. As of late January, the county has administered 28,938 vaccines and is receiving about 9,000 new vaccines each week from the state, Hidalgo said. About 258,581 vaccine doses have been administered overall in Harris County, while 571,325 doses have been allocated, according to state data. However, data on doses admin- istered is likely two to three weeks behind, county ocials said. As of Jan. 28, 146,026 people signed up for the waitlist, Hidalgo said. After being placed on the waitlist, residents will receive an email or phone conrmation. Once selected for an appointment, they will receive an identication code and will be asked to select a date and time to be vacci- nated within the next 48 hours. The county is also working on a texting system, Hidalgo said. HOWTO SIGNUP

A waitlist for the COVID-19 vaccine opened to all Harris County residents Jan. 26, but ocials said only those eligible to be vaccinated under state guidelines will be selected for appointments for now. People in Phase 1A of the state’s distribution plan, which includes health care workers and nursing home residents, will be prioritized over people in Phase 1B, which includes everyone over age 65 and people over age 16 with certain med- ical conditions, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said. Older people will also be prioritized over younger people, she said. Beyond that, people will be selected randomly, as opposed to on a rst-come, rst- served basis. “Getting a COVID-19 vaccine shouldn’t be like the ‘Hunger Games,’” Hidalgo said. “It shouldn’t be about who can hit refresh on a browser the fastest.” Residents who are not eligible for a vaccine today can still register for the waitlist. When the state expands eligibility to other segments of the population—a move that is not expected for another several months—the county will open up its own appointments to those groups


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Square miles of service area 13 164 Fire Stations

UTMB researchers ndPzer vaccine eective against newCOVID19 strain inHarris County

Total calls for service in 2020 30,206


test if the mutation aects the vac- cine-induced antibody activity against the virus. Researchers should use the mutant viruses to investigate the eects of mutations on viral transmission and disease development, said Scott Weaver, the director of the UTMB Institute for Human Infections and Immunity. “Using COVID-19 animal models, we should quickly test if the newly emerged strains are indeed more transmissible, as indicated by epide- miological results,” he said in a press release. “If this is the case, we should be able to identify which specic [mutation or mutations are responsi- ble] for the enhanced transmission and its mechanism.”

A team of researchers from Pzer and The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston announced Jan. 7 it found Pzer’s COVID-19 vaccine is not compromised by the coronavi- rus mutation seen in strains originat- ing from the United Kingdom. Harris County Public Health iden- tied a resident who tested positive for the new COVID-19 variant in January, the rst case of the new strain to be conrmed in the state. While the vaccine was determined to still be eective against this particular variant, Xuping Xie, an assistant professor at UTMB, added that more studies are necessary. The study involved using a panel of clinical trial serum specimens to






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