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Tarrant County prepares for first deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines

Hospitals like Harris Methodist, Cook Children's and JPS will be among the first to receive thousands of doses

FORT WORTH, Texas — By the end of this week, some Tarrant County hospitals will have received between 18,000 and 20,000 doses of Pfizer’s brand-new COVID-19 vaccine.

“Everyone's excited,” said Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley. “The end may be in sight.”

And Whitley says the doses will keep coming, saying next week the county could see significantly more. 

“It could be 30,000 to 40,000 vaccines,” he said.

Like we saw in Dallas Monday, the first shots in Tarrant County will be going to hospital workers: nurses, doctors and supporting staff. In total this week, the Dallas Fort Worth Hospital Council says more than 50,000 medical staff will be vaccinated.

“There are I believe eight or nine different facilities in Tarrant County that will be receiving at least the minimum dose, which is at least 975 vaccines,” Whitley said.

But details of how, when and where the general public will receive the vaccine are less clear at this point in time.

RELATED: Environment services worker at Methodist Dallas is first to receive Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine

“How it's going to be disseminated to the general public I think is yet to be determined,” said Stephen Love, who heads the DFW Hospital Council. “I do know the state, DSHS, probably later this week is going to announce the distribution for week two.”

“Each week we're going to know more and understand more,” Whitley said of the process.

Texas Health Harris Methodist near downtown Fort Worth is expected to be the first hospital in Tarrant County to receive the vaccine, netting 5,850 doses, according to the state. Cook Children’s Medical Center said it expected doses by the end of the week but didn’t know the exact time frame.

“The good news is—the vaccine's coming,” Whitley said. “The news I don't want to quit putting out there is: don't let your guard down. Wear the masks. Do the social distancing.”

Because even with this historic development, the pandemic has not ended.