AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy has produced 25,000 of vials of viral transport media (VTM) to help with COVID-19 testing.

The vials will be loaded on a truck to be shipped to San Antonio for statewide distribution to rural communities.

Gov. Greg Abbott recognized TTUHSC as a producer of VTM, a critical component to expanding access to COVID-19 testing across the state. VTM is a sterile tube with 1mL or 3mL of cell culture media that contains a broad-spectrum antibiotic and an antifungal agent. The VTM protects the virus samples obtained from nose or throat swabs. Because SARS-CoV2, the coronavirus causing COVID-19, is particularly unstable, it’s important those samples don’t degrade in transit to diagnostic facilities. Any changes could lead to incorrect testing results.

Since March, the team has produced nearly 48,000 vials of VTM. Communities across the state have benefited from the production in Amarillo.

(Information from continues ongoing coverage of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), it’s impacts and vaccination efforts.