Why are Some Texas Counties Receiving More Vaccine Doses Than Others?

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As the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines continues across the state of Texas, many residents are wondering why some counties are receiving more vaccine doses than others. In this article, we will explore the factors that contribute to the allocation of vaccines and the reasons behind the discrepancies in distribution. Understanding how the process works can help shed light on the challenges faced by health experts in ensuring an equitable distribution of vaccines.

Allocation based on Population and Demand

The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) in Texas aims to distribute vaccine doses in a manner that is proportionate to a county’s population. However, this is not the only factor that determines the number of doses allocated. The DSHS also takes into consideration the demand for vaccines in each area. This means that counties with higher demand may receive more doses compared to counties with lower demand, even if they have a similar population size.

To exemplify this, let’s take a look at the case of San Saba, one of the least vaccinated counties in Texas. Despite having a population size similar to the most vaccinated county, Presidio, San Saba received thousands of doses less. This can be attributed to the lower demand for vaccines in San Saba. When the state offered 500 doses to San Saba in a day-long clinic, only 170 people showed interest. The DSHS takes such factors into account to ensure that the doses are distributed where they are most needed.

Adjustments in Allocations

The allocation of vaccines is not a fixed process; it is continuously evaluated and adjusted based on various factors. The DSHS has been in constant communication with healthcare providers in order to reassess and modify the allocations. This is particularly important as providers adapt to the expanded age eligibility criteria. Each week, the allocations are based on the capacity of the providers to administer the vaccines within that specific week. This means that some counties may not request additional doses one week, but may request more doses in subsequent weeks.

The fluctuation in demand and the need for flexibility in allocations can also be seen with the upcoming week’s allocation. The DSHS has announced that several hundred thousand fewer doses of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine are expected. This reduction in supply could potentially affect the allocations across the state, including the counties that have been receiving fewer doses.


In conclusion, the distribution of vaccine doses across Texas is a complex process that takes into account multiple factors. While population size is a significant consideration, the demand for vaccines in each county also plays a vital role in the allocation. The DSHS strives to ensure an equitable distribution as much as possible. Adjustments are made based on the capacity and demand of healthcare providers, which can vary from week to week. Understanding the challenges faced by health experts in achieving an equitable distribution of vaccines can help alleviate concerns and promote transparency in the vaccination process.

For more information on how to pre-register with Austin Public Health for vaccine appointments, visit the website kxan.com. Stay informed and stay safe.

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