AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) says it's opening up vaccinations to Texans in Phase 1B.
Since Dec. 14, Texas has been in Phase 1A of vaccine allocation, which prioritizes frontline health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities. This week, first responders have also begun receiving their first doses of the vaccine.
According to the DSHS, starting Monday, Dec. 28, and continuing into January, Texans in Phase 1B may begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Phase 1B includes:
- People 65 years old and older
- People 16 years old and older with at least one chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe illness from the coronavirus, including 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
RELATED: Texans 65 and older or with certain medical conditions will be included in next COVID-19 vaccine phase, DSHS says
Texas health officials are now pushing to get those in both groups vaccinated as quickly as possible.
“All providers that have received COVID-19 vaccine must immediately vaccinate health care workers, Texans over the age of 65 and people with medical conditions that put them at a greater risk of severe disease or death from COVID-19. No vaccine should be kept in reserve,” said DSHS Commissioner John Hellerstedt, MD, on Tuesday.
A spokesperson for DSHS said guidance has been given to providers who have vaccinated all willing members of Phase 1A and have vaccines available. A provider location map has been added to the department's website. The map shows where the vaccine was shipped but doesn't indicate if that provider has vaccines available.
"We want to be clear that Phase 1B people can check with these providers to determine if they have vaccines available and can make an appointment to get vaccinated at that location," the spokesperson said. "We recognize that the available supply is limited and some providers on the map may have already used all of their allocation."
DSHS said Texas will receive more vaccines each week, so people can check the map weekly for updated information.
If you are in Phase B, you can use the DSHS COVID-19 vaccine provider locations map to see if there is a provider in your area that has received a shipment of one of the vaccines. Your ability to get a vaccine will still depend on that supply and demand, so call ahead to your provider to see when they can schedule an appointment for you.
These providers are expected to receive shipments of the vaccine this week. For more information on COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Texas, click here.
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