Texas will open vaccine eligibility to all adults Monday

Mar 23, 2021

The State of Texas says it will allow all adults to get the COVID-19 vaccine starting March 29.

“We are closing in on 10 million doses administered in Texas, and we want to keep up the momentum as the vaccine supply increases,” said Imelda Garcia, associate commissioner for laboratory and infectious disease services at the Department of State Health Services. “As eligibility opens up, we are asking providers to continue to prioritize people who are the most at risk of severe disease, hospitalization and death – such as older adults.”

DSHS has told vaccine providers to prioritize people 80 years and older — allowing them to go to the front of the line, even if they don't have an appointment.

The agency will also launch a new website aimed at connecting people with vaccine clinics through public health agencies, according to a news release.

So far, about 20% of Texans have had at least one dose of a COVID vaccine. Around 32% of eligible Lubbock County residents are partially vaccinated, according to state data. The city has one of the highest vaccination rates in the state.

Texas is the 34th state to open up vaccine eligibility to the general public. The Texas Tribune reports 22 million more people will now qualify for a shot. That far outpaces current supply. So, while you may get your name on a list, don't expect to have immediate access to a dose. 

Vaccine eligibility in Texas has thus far been contingent on age and medical conditions. Healthcare workers and other first responders were some of the first people to get a shot. 

This update comes after President Joe Biden announced all adults would be eligible for the vaccine by May 1. In that annnouncement, Biden pledged to increase the numbers of vaccination sites and support staff, as well as streamline the process to sign up for a shot. 

Have a news tip? Email Sarah Self-Walbrick at saselfwa@ttu.edu. Follow her reporting on Twitter @SarahFromTTUPM.

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