HOUSTON – A power outage Monday at a Harris Health facility left officials scrambling to administer doses of the coronavirus vaccine that were being stored there.
Officials said all the doses that were thawing had to be administered by 5 p.m. or they would be unusable. That prompted officials to begin calling places in the area that would be able to rapidly administer the doses before they went bad.
One of those places was Rice University, which received about 1,000 doses to administer to staff and students on the campus.
“We talked to students in line and when they heard about it, they sprinted over here to get in line,” KPRC 2′s Jacob Rascon reported during his live report at the university. “Hundreds and hundreds of people are in line.”
Rascon said there were at least 1,000 people in line when he arrived at the gym where they were administering the doses on a first-come, first-served basis.
In a statement, Houston Methodist officials said they had received 1,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from the batch of thawed shots. All of those doses had been administered by Monday afternoon, officials said.
“We didn’t waste a drop,” said Robert Schwartz, executive vice president of Houston Methodist Hospital. “It was great for our community that we were able to quickly administer these much-needed vaccines in the middle of the storm.”
Officials at Ben Taub Hospital also said they were in the process of administering the vaccines to staff and patients there who qualify to receive the vaccine. The public is not being vaccinated at the hospital.
It was not immediately clear how many doses needed to be administered because of the power outage.
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