Texans 50 and older eligible for COIVD vaccine beginning March 15
By Kristen Meriwether, Editor LPR
The State of Texas is expanding its COVID vaccine eligibility to age 50 and older beginning on March 15, according to a press release from the Texas Department of State Health Services.
“We’ve seen a remarkable decrease in the number of hospitalizations and deaths since people 65 and older started becoming fully vaccinated in January,” Imelda Garcia, DSHS associate commissioner for laboratory and infectious disease services and chair of the Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel said in the release. “Expanding to ages 50 to 64 will continue the state’s priorities of protecting those at the greatest risk of severe outcomes and preserving the state’s health care system.”
The new expansion is dubbed group 1C. This adds to 1A, which includes healthcare workers, first responders, and long-term care residents and workers, and group 1B which includes people 65 and up, as well as 16 and older with certain health conditions.
On March 3 the State also added teachers and child care providers to the list of eligible residents, regardless of age.
To date Caldwell County has fully vaccinated 2,111 residents out of 41,365 who are eligible. Out of the 6,512 residents who are 65+, only 985 have been fully vaccinated. Out of the 34,853 who are 16+, only 1,126 have been fully vaccinated.
The announcement of more eligible residents does not mean more residents will be vaccinated. It simply means more can now apply. The supply of vaccines continues to be an issue at the state and county level.
Supply lines are expected to increase with the addition of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which received Emergency Use Authorization on Feb. 27. This week the State received and allocated one million first doses, an increase from 600,000 the week prior.
The State of Texas has fully vaccinated 2.5 million residents. The State’s population is 29 million.