Rolling blackouts across Texas over the holiday weekend shut down freezers at Harris County Public Health’s storage facility in Houston, putting thousands of doses of Covid-19 vaccine at risk of spoilage. The Moderna vaccine must be kept between minus 13 and plus 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Officials decided to distribute the doses in places with concentrations of both willing patients and capable medical staff members.
Rice University, which was among the sites chosen, received 800 doses. Medical workers began administering vaccines at 11:15 Monday morning in the East Gym to students, faculty, and staff on a first-come, first-served basis. People sprinted across campus in hopes of getting a shot. By 12:30 p.m., The Rice Thresher reported, the vaccination line was closed.