The Houston Health Department said on Friday that it will focus its latest COVID-19 vaccine allocation on people at the highest risk next week.
In a release, the department said it received 9,000 additional doses on Thursday and during the week of Feb. 1, vaccine will be allocated for people with severe illness and those in vulnerable communities.
According to the plan, the health department will not open new appointments for the qualifying general public for the next week.
"We know it is important to vaccinate the people who are the most vulnerable, and they should be among the first to get shots, especially when supply is scarce," said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. "The Houston Health Department's distribution plan for next week focuses on those with a higher risk for illness and death and people living in vulnerable communities."
Health department appointments are currently full based on supply. People are urged not to contact the COVID-19 call center about first dose appointments because no slots are currently available.
The department will also schedule 11,971 second doses due next week, said the release. People who received their first dose from the health department will be contacted and scheduled for second doses.
The department currently provides the Moderna vaccine, with the second dose recommended 28 days after the first dose. Updated guidance from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the second dose should be administered as close as possible to the recommended interval but can be scheduled up to 42 days after the first dose.