HOUSTON – State health officials are prioritizing seniors and people with serious illnesses in the next phase of the coronavirus vaccine rollout.
Currently, only frontline health care workers and people living in long-term care facilities are eligible to receive the vaccine in what is being called Phase 1A.
In Phase 1B, as it’s being called, the vaccine will be made more widely available to anyone 65 years of age or older and to people 16 years or age or older with at least one chronic medical condition. Those conditions include, but are not limited to:
- Chronic kidney disease.
- Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies.
- Solid organ transplantation.
- Obesity and severe obesity (BMI of 30 kg/m2 or higher).
- Sickle cell disease.
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus.
“The focus on people who are age 65 and older or who have comorbidities will protect the most vulnerable populations,” said Imelda Garcia, chair of the state’s Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel and the Department of State Health Services associate commissioner for laboratory and infectious disease services. “This approach ensures that Texans at the most severe risk from COVID-19 can be protected across races and ethnicities and regardless of where they work.”
Officials said it will likely be a few weeks before the transition to Phase 1B starts, depending on the amount of vaccine provided to Texas and how the vaccine is being taken among priority populations.
More information can be found at dshs.texas.gov.
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