HUSTON, Texas (AP) Hospitals in Texas have been notified they are not being invited to receive the highly contagious coronavirus vaccine they are legally required to administer for free.
The announcement Friday came in response to a request by Texas Health and Human Services Secretary Eric Nichols for the state to allow for vaccine delivery in Texas.
The state will receive a total of 5.5 million doses of the vaccine in August, a spokesman for Texas Health Services said.
Texas has not received any requests from Texas Health, which is responsible for the vaccination schedule, since the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week announced it was not planning to vaccinate the entire state until the end of the month.
The department said in a statement Friday that it was reviewing its response to the federal announcement, and that it is evaluating the need for a new vaccine schedule in the state.
The public health agency said it will also review the timing of new coronaviruses and vaccinate a limited number of those who need the vaccine.
The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors.
HHS said Friday that Texas Health has not made any requests to schedule the vaccine for distribution to patients in hospitals and other health care facilities.
The agency said its health-care delivery teams are coordinating with state health departments to deliver the vaccine to the population.
Texas Health also said it has not been contacted by Texas health officials since the announcement.
Nichols’ request to the state came after an Associated Press investigation found that Texas health agencies have not received a single request from Texas to schedule a vaccine for release in hospitals or other facilities.
It was not immediately clear why the state didn’t receive a request from the state health department.
A spokesman for Nichols said the request was an error, not an order.
Nichols has asked for a full-scale vaccination schedule to be in place by August and for the U.S. Centers for Diseases Control and Protection to release the coronaviral vaccine by the end a month later.
That schedule is now in place.