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How will the vaccine be distributed when it comes to Midland?

Midland Memorial Hospital has selected the first five people to receive the Pfizer vaccine when it gets to our area.

MIDLAND, Texas — As West Texas gets ready to see the first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine, many are curious how the vaccine will be distributed.

The Pfizer vaccine, which has just been recommended to for emergency use in people over 16 and expected to be authorized within days by the FDA, could hit Midland as early as December 11.

Midland Memorial Hospital will give five doses of the vaccine at first. While we don't know who those people are at this time, the hospital says it has already selected them.

Guidelines indicate the first round of vaccinations will go toward those deemed most in need: namely healthcare workers and those in high risk demographics like those over 65 in nursing homes.

At Midland Health there is around 2,250 workers, with 1,900 of those working as hospital employees.

This means within Midland alone it could take quite some time to see vaccinations move onto the second round, as if every single hospital worker were to take a vaccine it would leave 50 doses.

However, the vaccine is not mandatory even for hospital workers, so it is possible that some employees will not take the vaccine, leaving more doses.

At this time, neither hospital in Odessa will be receiving the vaccine within the first wave. Both hospitals could have it as soon as a week and a half later.

Hospital officials have emphasized that while the vaccine is a good sign, nothing will immediately go back to normal once the first doses have been distributed.