All adults in Texas will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine beginning Monday, March 29, the Texas Department of State Health Services announced Tuesday.
The Texas Department of State Health Services said they expect vaccine supplies to increase next week, and "providers in multiple parts of the state have made great strides in vaccinating people in the current priority groups."
The state’s Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel recommended opening vaccination to everyone who falls under the current Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorizations to protect as many Texans as possible.
“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.”
DSHS has directed vaccine providers to prioritize people 80 years old or older when scheduling appointments and accommodate anyone in that age group who presents for vaccination, whether or not they have an appointment, by immediately moving them to the front of the line.
DSHS said this is to ensure vaccination of anyone 80 or older with as small a burden on themselves as possible.
DSHS will launch a website to allow people to register for a shot through some public health providers next week.
Texas has administered more than 9.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, equating to more than 6 million people with at least one dose and more than 3 million fully vaccinated.
Most vaccines are authorized for people 18 years old and older; the FDA has authorized the Pfizer vaccine for use in people 16 and older, according to DSHS.