Based on the CDC’s vaccine distribution data, through yesterday 28,504,000 vaccines had been distributed to the states.1 That works out to 8,684 doses per 100,000 people in the country. However, Texas has only received 7,262 doses. If Texas had received its pro rata share, it would have an extra 412,000 vaccines to pass along to local providers.2 That is five times the number of nursing home residents in Texas.
Overall, Texas ranks 48th in the number of COVID vaccines it has received on a per capita basis. New York has received 33% more than Texas. California, 23% and Florida 26%. And, of course, the District of Columbia has received a disproportionate share, getting 33% more than Texas.
I contacted a number of Texas Congressional offices yesterday and found none that were even aware Texas is getting shorted. Two told me they were too busy with the impeachment to look into it right now. It is a sad day when the hyper-partisan wargames in the Capitol take precedent over saving the lives of constituents.
One office did call HHS and got a number of lame excuses, including that Texas was getting less because we have a higher percentage of our population under 18, who are not approved for the vaccine yet. So, I quickly ran those numbers and it makes only a small difference. But even if that is the basis, Texas has still been shorted by, at least, 300,000 doses.
Even being shorted, Texas is doing a better job of getting the vaccine out as compared to other states. It has vaccinated the most people and was the first state to surpass the one million vaccination mark. It also has vaccinated the most people on a per capita basis among the ten largest states and ranks 7th in the percentage of vaccines it has administered of those received.
If the federal government is going to vary from a straight proration of the vaccines by state, it should be sending the vaccine to those places currently suffering the worst outbreaks and to the states doing the best job getting the doses in people’s arms. On both counts, Texas should be getting more, not less, of the doses available.
Hopefully, our U.S. Senators and House members will find some time next week to take a break from their hyper-partisan intramural games and ensure that Texans are getting their fair share of the vaccines. If you have some time over the next couple of days, you might give them a call and make that “suggestion.”
Note 1 – About 2.6 million additional doses have been sent to U.S. territories and federal agencies, the two largest being the Department of Defense (~507,000) and Indian Health Services (~297,000).
Note 2 – This is a link to my spreadsheet of the vaccine distribution data as of January 15.