The State of Texas has announced who will be next in line to get the COVID-19 vaccine following frontline workers.
At a meeting on Thursday, the Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel recommended vaccinating "these diverse groups of Phase 1B of vaccine distribution to limit the loss of life from COVID-19 and help reduce the burden on the state’s hospitals."
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"The focus on people who are age 65 and older or who have comorbidities will protect the most vulnerable populations," said Imelda Garcia, EVAP chair and DSHS 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."
Care home staff receive the Pfizer/BioNtech covid-19 vaccine at Bradley Manor residential care home in Belfast. (Photo by Liam McBurney/PA Images via Getty Images)
Here are the Texas Phase 1B COVID-19 Vaccine Priorities:
-People 65 years of age and older
-People 16 years of age and older with at least one chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19, such as but not limited to:
-Chronic kidney disease
-COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
-Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies
-Solid organ transplantation
-Obesity and severe obesity (body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or higher)
-Sickle cell disease
-Type 2 diabetes mellitus
The state is currently in Phase 1A of vaccine distribution, which includes residents of long-term care facilities and front-line healthcare workers.
According to a release, with an estimated 1.9 million Texans within the Phase 1A groups, it will likely be at least a few weeks before a transition to Phase 1B will occur. Health officials said the timing will depend on the amount of vaccine provided to Texas and the uptake of vaccine among the priority populations.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced Monday, the Houston Health Department will receive 3,000 vials of the vaccine in the second wave.
3,000 more will be heading to the Houston Fire Department.
Houston Fire Chief, Sam Pena reported Monday that the fire, EMS staff, and their infectious control staff have been approved to be providers.
For additional information about Phase 1B, click here.