More at-risk Texans can now receive COVID-19 vaccine

More at-risk Texans can now receive COVID-19 vaccine
(Source: WTOC)

AUSTIN, Texas (KCBD) - The State of Texas is opening up COVID-19 vaccine availability to those 65 or older, or those with a risk-increasing medical condition.

The Texas Department of State Health Services says Phase 1B of vaccination will focus on people for whom there is strong and consistent evidence that COVID-19 makes them more likely to become very sick or die, but availability will still depend on local sources.

The following conditions for Phase 1B distribution were provided by TDSHS:

  • 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:
  • Cancer
  • 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)
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

“Because Phase 1B provides vaccine to higher-risk people regardless of their work sector or status, it will provide protection for a number of critical populations at an increased risk of getting COVID-19,” TDSHS says, “communities that are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and other chronic diseases; teachers and school staff who ensure that Texas children can learn in a safe environment; social services workers who ensure that those in need receive care and support; workers who maintain critical infrastructure to support the Texas economy; and other front-line workers who are unable to work remotely and so are more likely to be exposed.”

A link provided by TDSHS leads to an online map to find COVID-19 vaccine providers. You can find that map here.

According to TDSHS, vaccine supply is limited but providers receive more vaccines each week. Officials say it will take some time to vaccinate everyone in these priority groups.

KCBD spoke to one local distributor Tuesday, we will have the full story on KCBD NewsChannel 11 at 10.

Information on Phase 1B of the vaccine’s distribution can be found at this link.

Further information from TDSHS can be found here: dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/immunize/vaccine.aspx

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