HOUSTON, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- The health department of the U.S. city of Houston opened the city's first public COVID-19 vaccine site on Saturday.
"The vaccine is our best shot to help prevent people from getting sick and potentially suffering severe consequences," Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said on Saturday. "We are working efficiently to vaccinate eligible frontline employees and vulnerable Houstonians."
The Houston Health Department said in a release that the public's response to the vaccination site was overwhelming. The COVID-19 call center was inundated by those seeking to schedule vaccination appointments.
According to the department, those who met Phase 1A or Phase 1B vaccination criteria and wanted to get vaccinated were asked to make an appointment first.
According to the state of Texas, vaccine distribution has been broken down into phases. Phase 1A includes medical workers and those living in nursing homes, and Phase 1B includes anyone who is 65 and older, or 16 and older with a chronic medical condition.
Turner said earlier that the city's goal in January is to provide 100,000 vaccines to its residents.