Memorial Hermann moves to 2nd phase in COVID-19 vaccinations this week

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Monday, December 28, 2020
2nd phase of vaccine goes to elderly, those with chronic illness
With the arrival of the Moderna vaccine, healthcare officials are encouraging those suffering from chronic illness, and those over 65-years-old to get the shot as soon as possible.

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.

SEE ALSO: 1st doses of Moderna's vaccine set to arrive at UMMC Houston today

"It's a light at the end of the tunnel," Dr. Joseph Varon at UMMC said. He will be the first to get Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine.

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.

SEE ALSO: Texas to prioritize 65 and older for next round of vaccines

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.

SEE ALSO: 8 million Texans fall in next COVID-19 vaccination group

According to DSHS, there are eight million people in Texas who are eligible for the next group to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Here's how you can learn if you fall into the next group

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:

  • Patients age 75 or older
  • Patients age 65 to 74
  • Patients younger than age 65 who have at least one Class 1* condition, or at least two Class 2** comorbid conditions"

For more details on Houston Methodist's COVID-19 vaccine distribution, visit the hospital's website.