By Jack Fink

AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The state of Texas has distributed nearly 225,000 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, so far.

On Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott said by the end of this month, more than one million vaccines will be distributed across the state.

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The governor appeared at a UPS distribution center in Austin where he praised the company, which is delivering the vaccine to hospitals, health centers and clinics, medical practices and pharmacies.

He said Pfizer is producing more vaccines and that the state will soon receive the one developed by Moderna after it gets final approval which could be as early as Friday.

The vaccines will be more widely distributed by March he said because the vaccines from Johnson and Johnson and AstraZeneca will soon arrive after they’re approved by the FDA.

Abbott said, “Texas has been a national leader in being able to structure a system to achieve this fast, effective, swift distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. We have more than seven thousand providers who are lined up prepared to distribute this.”

He said all Texans owe a debt of gratitude to the nurses and doctors who have been on the frontlines for months treating the sickest patients with COVID-19.

They are the first to receive the vaccine.

The governor said, “I got to tell you it was moving, heartwarming to see the doctors and nurses who received this vaccine just yesterday or the day before, literally break out in tears as they knew they were receiving medication that was going to protect their lives.”.

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Abbott said he will get the vaccine at the appropriate time, but wanted health care workers to get it first.

He also repeated there will be no more shutdowns in Texas. “California has some of the toughest shutdowns in the U.S. and yet they are skyrocketing and leading the United States in the number of cases.. So the fact of the matter is, it’s time to put behind us shutdowns. No more shutdowns, we need to focus on opening up businesses.”

The pandemic, he said, has crushed businesses and many people financially.

California saw more than 52,000 new cases of the coronavirus statewide and has had more than 1.7 million cases since March. Nearly 22,000 people have died related to the virus.

In Texas, there were 14,805 new cases of the virus reported statewide and there have been nearly 1.4 million cases since March. More than 24,000 people have died related to COVID-19.

The State Department of Health Services said there are 2,765 COVID-19 patients in North Texas hospitals.

The governor also said the state Capitol should be reopened and will be opened, but didn’t give a timeline.

The legislative session begins Jan. 12.

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