COVID-19 cases continue to rise across Texas and the country, something Houston leaders addressed Monday afternoon.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Dr. David Persse were among officials at the news conference, where they announced the city’s positivity rate is up to 8.8 percent. They also said that cases and hospitalizations are on the rise, a troubling trend before the Thanksgiving holiday.
Mayor Turner passed along that the city reported 463 new COVID-19 cases, bringing Houston’s total to 93,988. There were three new deaths, which brought the city’s total up to 1,417.
They also addressed the COVID-19 vaccine and how it’ll be distributed in Houston. Dr. Persse said it will initially go to hospital and frontline workers, something mentioned earlier in the day by Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas health department. At the state level, notice was sent out on who would get the vaccine first.
A vaccine could be as early as December 12. Dr. Persse said there would be no cost to people who are getting vaccinated.
There have been several developments today on the COVID-19 front. First, we learned yet another vaccine candidate had positive results. AstraZeneca reported Monday that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is easier to distribute than some of its rivals.
The results are based on interim analysis of trials in the U.K. and Brazil of a vaccine developed by Oxford University and manufactured by AstraZeneca. No hospitalizations or severe cases of COVID-19 were reported in those receiving the vaccine.
That comes after Moderna and Pfizer also reported strong success rates.