Texas to prioritize 65 and older for next round of vaccines

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Tuesday, December 22, 2020
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AUSTIN, Texas (KTRK) -- The State of Texas announced that the next phase of vaccinations will go to those who are 65 and older, and those who are 16 and older and have a serious health condition or are pregnant.

"The state of Texas will prioritize people who are at the greatest risk of severe disease and death from COVID-19 for the next phase of vaccination. More than 70 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Texas have occurred in people 65 and older, and scientific evidence shows that adults of any age with certain medical conditions have an increased risk of hospitalization and death if they get sick with COVID-19," said the Texas Department of State Health Services, in a statement.

The state is currently in Phase 1A of vaccine distribution, which includes residents of long-term care facilities and front-line health care workers. With an estimated 1.9 million Texans in those groups, it will likely be at least a few weeks before a transition to Phase 1B occurs. The timing will depend on the amount of vaccine provided to Texas and the uptake of vaccine among the priority populations.

The Phase 1B priorities are below:

People 65 years of age and older.

People 16 years of age and older with at least one chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19, such as but not limited to:

Chronic kidney disease
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies
Solid organ transplantation
Obesity and severe obesity (body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or higher)

Sickle cell disease
Type 2 diabetes mellitus