1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses arrive in Texas for all adults, state announces

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Anyone over the age of 16 will be allowed to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Texas beginning today after the state is set to receive more than 1 million first doses, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

The department said it is allocating over 800,000 doses to 779 providers in 202 counties. More than 200,000 additional first doses are expected to be made available to pharmacy locations and health centers.

Although eligibility will be open to all adults, the DSHS has directed providers to prioritize people 80 years and older when scheduling appointments, immediately moving them to the front of the line.

In addition to the first doses, the state is also ordering 587,950 doses intended to be used as second doses for people first vaccinated weeks ago.

"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."

These vaccinations have helped decrease the number of new cases and people hospitalized with COVID-19 to the lowest level since October.

As of now, more than 30% of all Texans at least 16 years of age have already received at least one dose.

The state's Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel recommended opening vaccination to everyone who falls under the current Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorizations.

The department said if you're eligible for a vaccine and don't have internet access, you can call 211 to be referred to a local provider.

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