Photo taken on Nov. 13, 2020 shows the Parkland Hospital which admits COVID-19 patients in Dallas, Texas, the United States. (Photo by Dan Tian/Xinhua)
A little over a month since COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna began reaching U.S. southern states, problems such as miscommunication, technical issues and inaccurate data have concerned officials and the public.
On Thursday, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick sent a letter to the chair of the state's Expert Vaccination Allocation Panel, asking the state to refine its vaccine rollout program for people to have a clearer idea of when they can expect the vaccination.
According to a report of The Texas Tribune, Patrick's request came as distribution of vaccines in Texas has been beset with "miscommunication and technical issues" that have created confusion for patients and providers.
Texas started to receive COVID-19 vaccines in December 2020. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said earlier this month that each week of January, the state was expected to receive 310,000 first doses and up to 500,000 second doses.
Currently, Texans in phases 1A and 1B of the vaccine rollout - which includes healthcare front-line workers, long-term care facility residents, people over 65 years old and those who are at least 16 with certain chronic medical conditions - are already eligible to be vaccinated.
Patrick wrote in his letter that in many cities and counties when an announcement of available vaccinations is made, "website sign-up pages crash and phone calls go unanswered."
"Texans need to have a better understanding of the time it will take for everyone to be vaccinated in order to reduce lines, confusion and frustration," he continued.
In the letter, Patrick suggested the state to subgroup the people in category 1B "so that the more than 4 million plus Texans and those with chronic conditions don't all expect to get their vaccination at the same time - something we know is not possible."