HCA Houston Healthcare Kingwood nurse Erica Reyes administers the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to Dr. Akinyinka Ajelabi, a pulmonologist, on Friday, Dec. 18. (Courtesy HCA Houston Healthcare Kingwood)
The Kingwood hospital was one of 110 providers across the state of Texas chosen to receive the first wave of vaccine doses, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. It was also one of four hospitals in Montgomery County that received the vaccine the week of Dec. 14.
The hospital received the full shipment of vaccines, which was 975 doses, on Dec. 17, according to an emailed statement from HCA Houston Healthcare Kingwood. The hospital began providing the vaccine to its front-line health care staff members on Dec. 18.
“While colleagues will not be required to be vaccinated, our infectious disease experts, as well as those at the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention], are strongly encouraging vaccination as a critical step to protect individuals from the virus,” a Dec. 18 news release from HCA Houston Healthcare Kingwood read.
The vaccine will first be offered to medical staff and employees who are providing direct care to patients who have COVID-19 and are at the highest risk of being affected by the virus, according to the release. As the hospital receives more doses of the vaccine, other medical staff and employees will be offered the vaccine, according to the release.