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San Marcos Consolidated ISD nurse Dyanna Eastwood administers a COVID-19 Moderna vaccine to San Marcos High School administrative assistant Amber Nevarez on March 4. Daily Record photo by Lance Winter

All Texas adults to become eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine next week

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

The Texas Department of State Health Services announced that all Texas adults will become eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine beginning on Monday, March 29. 

The DSHS’ announcement comes as the state expects to receive an increase in supplies. The state’s Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel recommended opening vaccination to everyone who falls under the current U.S. Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorizations, the DSHS said Tuesday. Under the FDA’s emergency use authorizations, those 16 and older can receive a Pfizer vaccine, while only those 18 and older can receive a Moderna or Johnson & Johnson shot. 

“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, DSHS associate commissioner for laboratory and infectious disease services and the chair of the Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel. “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.”

Although the state will open vaccines to all adults, the DSHS said it has directed vaccine providers to prioritize people 80 years old or older when scheduling appointments and accommodate anyone in that age group. 

According to the DSHS, Texas has administered 9,397,724 doses with 6,407,978 Texans receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 3,215,549 people fully vaccinated as of Tuesday. 

In Hays County, 48,855 residents have received at least one dose of a vaccine, while 25,599 people are fully vaccinated. The DSHS estimates that Hays County has a population of 183,380 residents who are 16 years or older. 

Hays County Local Health Department Director Tammy Crumley said she welcomes any changes that will allow more of the population who wish to receive a COVID-19 vaccine an opportunity to do so. 

“Hays County will continue to work with our valued partners, including physicians and pharmacies, as well as Live Oak Health Partners, to get people vaccinated,” Crumley said. 

Hays County will continue to utilize its pre-registration list at https://haysinformed.com/covid-19. Those on the list will be given appointments in the same manner that has been used throughout vaccine administration, Crumley said. Hays County will only give vaccine doses by appointment. Walk-ups will not be administered a vaccine. 

“Individuals on the list should still expect to receive an email, text and/or phone call or voice mail with their appointment information,” Crumley said.

The DSHS said it will launch a website next week to allow people to register for a shot through some public health providers. Additionally, the public will be able to enroll in the Texas Public Health Vaccine Scheduler to identify upcoming vaccine clinics hosted by DSHS or a participating local health department and will be notified when new clinics and appointments become available. For additional information regarding vaccine providers, visit dshs.texas.gov/covidvaccine. 

This story has been updated since its first publication. 

San Marcos Record

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