HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- More Texans have the opportunity to get treated after the latest shipment of COVID-19 vaccines arrived at Houston's Memorial Hermann Hospital on Wednesday.
The arrival of the Moderna vaccine means healthcare officials at Memorial Hermann can transition to Phase 1B of the Texas Vaccine Allocation Guiding Principles, allowing them to treat more people who weren't a priority during Phase 1A. The hospital is scheduled to transition to that phase this week.
Phase 1A sets focus primarily on healthcare workers and those on the front lines. Now, other populations such as first responders, community pharmacists and school nurses will be able to schedule their appointments.
For Phase 1B, the priority will expand to anyone over the age of 65 and anyone older than 16 who suffers from at least one chronic medical condition.
According to Texas death certificate data, more than 70% of COVID-19-related deaths were from people 65 years and older.
Memorial Hermann said since the new phase will allow the vaccine to be distributed to a wider range of people, they expect it to begin protecting a number of critical populations that are at an increased risk of catching the virus due to their profession.
At Houston Methodist Hospital, patients were told to keep an eye out for their messages for a text to schedule their vaccine. So who is eligible for the vaccine? Here's who Houston Methodist said it will be notifying.
"Patients who have seen a primary care or specialty care physician in the last 2 years will be eligible for the vaccine before the general public.
Starting soon, we will begin notifying eligible patients via text to schedule their vaccine in the following order:
For more details on Houston Methodist's COVID-19 vaccine distribution, visit the hospital's website.