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Commentary Coronavirus Featured

El Paso will see a huge increase in available COVID-19 vaccine this week

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El Paso will receive its largest shipment ever of first dose COVID-19 vaccines this week. The increase in vaccine availability comes as new infections continue to be near the lowest levels in months, though still high enough to represent a significant danger of community spread.

The number of El Pasoans requiring hospitalization because of COVID-19 continues to fall, and the number of people dying of the disease is down sharply.

Here’s our weekly COVID-19 data report.

Vaccinations

The state of Texas is sending almost 38,000 first doses of COVID-19 vaccines to El Paso this week, twice as many as we’ve seen in recent weeks.

The vaccines are going to 61 providers throughout the county. This distribution schedule lessens the reliance on mass vaccination hubs and gets the vaccines closer to where people live.

El Paso is receiving 8,400 doses of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week, by far the highest total yet. Because it requires one dose and the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is particularly beneficial for hard-to-reach and mobile populations, such as homebound adults and people in jail.

One in every four El Pasoans age 16 and over — more than 156,000 people — have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. More than 262,000 El Pasoans have received at least one vaccine dose.

New cases

After declining for four consecutive weeks and nine of the first 12 weeks of the year, the number of new COVID-19 infections in El Paso ticked upward last week.

We had three days of fewer than 100 cases for the first time since September, but we also had two days with more than 200 new cases, the first time that had happened in almost a month.

El Paso is still at risk for a surge in new infections.

Hospitals

The number of people requiring treatment for COVID-19 in El Paso hospitals and intensive care units has dropped by half in a month. 

Deaths

The number of El Pasoans dying of COVID-19 is at its lowest level since the summer of 2020.

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Robert Moore

Robert Moore is the founder and CEO of El Paso Matters. He has been a journalist in the Texas Borderlands since 1986. His work has received a number of top journalism honors including the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, Pulitzer Prize finalist and the Benjamin C. Bradlee Editor of the Year Award. Moore’s work has appeared in the Washington Post, Texas Monthly, ProPublica, National Public Radio, The Guardian and other publications. He has been featured as an expert on border issues by CNN, MSNBC, BBC, CBC and PBS.

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