DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas County’s only public hospital and one of the country’s largest, Parkland is now distributing its first doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to essential healthcare staff.
Frontline staff at the hospital received the vaccine on Tuesday, Dec. 15.
On Monday, more than 100 employees for the Methodist Health System received their first doses of the vaccine. Another 500 are expected to receive theirs during the next two days.
The 5,850 doses Methodist received were the first to arrive in North Texas, outside of clinical trials.
Two other hospital systems – UT Southwestern and Texas Health Resources in Fort Worth – are scheduled to receive the same number of doses on Tuesday.
“This is the first time in a long time I’ve felt giddy. I felt excited and optimistic. And I think that’s a general sense with many of us in healthcare because it’s the first time we’ve actually had something that we know will make a meaningful impact in transitioning us back to normalcy,” said Dallas Medical Society President Dr. Mark Casanova.
Casanova sits on a Dallas County advisory committee, offering detailed guidance on who should receive the vaccine first. He expects the pace of vaccinations will quickly increase.
More than a dozen additional North Texas hospitals are set to receive smaller batches of the vaccine by the end of the week.
As early as next week, the Texas Department of State Health Services says it’s prepared for Moderna to begin deliveries of its vaccine.
Doctors warn it will be months before the general public has access, but the Monday’s vaccinations marked a significant first step.
“There is light at the end of the tunnel,” one North Texas doctor told CBS 11 News.
Parkland averages more than 1 million patient visits annually.
Services include a Level I Trauma Center, the second largest civilian burn center in the U.S. and a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The system also includes 20 community-based clinics, including primary care and women’s clinics, 12 school-based clinics and numerous outreach and education programs.
It’s the primary teaching hospital for the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
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