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White House reveals plans for major COVID-19 vaccination site in Houston

White House reveals plans for major COVID vaccination site in Houston

NRG Stadium
The federally supported mass vaccination site will be constructed at NRG Stadium. Photo courtesy of NRG Stadium

A federally supported mass vaccination site will be constructed at Houston's NRG Stadium, which will be one of three built in coordination with the state of Texas, the White House COVID-19 Response Team revealed February 10.

Under plans by the Biden administration, more than 10,000 shots are expected to be given at the Texas sites, with operation possibly beginning on the week of February 22. The other sites planned in Texas are at Fair Park in Dallas and AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

With the planned distribution points at NRG and AT&T stadiums, the White House is taking up the NFL on its offer to use the 30 league venues for super sites.

Earlier this week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted preliminary information about the state partnering with FEMA to setup distribution points in Houston and Dallas. According to Abbott, initial plans were to administer 5,000 to 6,000 additional vaccinations per day.

The site would be in operation seven days a week for eight weeks.  Abbott said two of the state's largest cities would get the first sites, with possible expansion to other locations.

Additionally, FEMA told CultureMap news partner ABC13 that its aim is to launch a small number of pilot community vaccination centers using primarily federal staff to support state and local governments.

"The goal of establishing these joint federal pilot centers is to continue to expand the rate of vaccinations in an efficient, effective and equitable manner, with an explicit focus on making sure that communities with a high risk of COVID-19 exposure and infection are not left behind," a FEMA official said.

While specifics of the distribution points were not immediately disclosed ahead of the February 10 briefing, the White House has moved into action to use larger venues to vaccinate as many people as possible, including taking up the NFL's offer to use stadiums.

With the NFL season over, President Biden wants to ramp up vaccine distribution across the country, and one way to do, he says, is through the use of NFL stadiums as vaccination sites. In the video, he is given a walk-through at one.

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For more on this story, including full video of the briefing, visit our news partner ABC13.

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