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Texas DSHS makes changes to how COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed in the state

Starting next week, the state will distribute a larger number of vaccines to a smaller number of providers.

HOUSTON — Texas is making some big changes to the way it distributes the COVID-19 vaccine across the state.

Starting next week, the Department of State Health Services will distribute a larger number of vaccines to a smaller number of providers.

People like Andrea Smith hope it speeds up the process.

“We definitely are ready to be vaccinated,” Smith said.

Since the start of the pandemic, there’s nothing Smith misses more than hanging out with her family.

“I’m in lockdown because of my medical condition,” she said.

Smith has Type 1 diabetes. Under Texas DSHS guidelines, she qualifies for the COVID-19 vaccine.

However, like so many others, it’s been a struggle to get the shot.

“I feel like I have a higher chance of becoming sick, and the only reason that bothers me is I don’t want to transmit it to people I love," Smith said.

Since there is only a limited amount of vaccine available right now, the state wants to make sure all doses are used as soon as possible.

Commissioner John Hellerstedt said instead of sending vaccines to smaller doctors' offices and clinics, they’ll go to providers who have proven their ability to quickly vaccinate those who are eligible.

"Each vaccination brings the end of the pandemic that much closer," he said.

DSHS will release a full list of hub locations on Sunday including how to sign up.

Smith is happy to hear the state is working on making it faster for her to get vaccinated and get back to living her life.

“We’re very concerned about this. It’s a very contagious virus that’s killing people, and we believe it," Smith said.