Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo released the following statement in response to the Food and Drug Administration advisory committee’s endorsement of a COVID-19 vaccine:
“The development of a COVID-19 vaccine within a year is an incredible human achievement. It’s a testament to the power of modern medicine, science, and the tireless efforts of researchers and institutions - many from right here in Harris County - who have worked so hard to finally bring light to the end of this tunnel.
Harris County has been working for months to plan for the arrival and distribution of vaccines. We have been working closely with state health officials and our County Health Department has been working diligently to prepare and ensure local clinics are registered and ready.
Even with a vaccine on the horizon, it is important for residents to know that the current distribution plans are not fast enough to make an impact on the current surge. In just one day - yesterday, we lost 3,000 people nationwide to COVID-19, including residents right here in Harris County. This week, our TMC hospital system surpassed its ICU base capacity demonstrating our healthcare system is under renewed strain. These trends demonstrate that we are far from through with this and we are desperately asking our community to do more. It’s been a tough year, but we owe it to our frontline workers and the thousands who have lost loved ones from this virus to keep at it. We still have time to turn these trends around. Regardless of whether you have been exposed to the virus or not, now is the time to get tested and cancel and avoid holiday gatherings. There is finally light at the end of the tunnel, but we’re not there yet.”