Texas is deviating from the CDC's recommendations on who should receive the COVID-19 vaccine next.
The CDC suggests teachers, first responders and other essential workers should be next in line.
Texas says it will concentrate on people 65 years and older, and those with certain chronic medical conditions in what’s known as Phase 1-B. The list of COVID-19 vaccine priorities is located at the bottom of this article.
The latest news from around North Texas.
For now, the rollout on Phase 1-A continues. It includes health care workers, people in long-term care facilities, EMS workers and home health care workers.
Monday, workers with CVS and Walgreens launched full roll-outs to begin inoculating residents of long-term care facilities.
The pharmacy chains are partnering with the federal governments to vaccinate an estimated seven million people at 70,000 long-term care facilities nationwide.
The roll-outs are now underway in a dozen states.
Next Monday, Dec. 28, the effort begins in more than 35 states, including Texas.
“It’s been a long year and this is something that we hope is a game-changer for us in keeping our residents safe and keeping this virus out of our buildings,” said President of Comfort Care Management Co., Chad Anderson.
Anderson operates four memory care facilities in North Texas. He says residents have spent much of the year isolating to avoid COVID-19 exposure.
“The social impact of just having somebody give you a hug or rub your back for a minute or seeing some people is so important,” Anderson said.
Anderson expects about 60% of staff and 90% of residents will get the vaccine.
In Texas, CVS will send staff to 2,000 long-term care facilities to vaccinate 275,000 people.
CVS teams will make three visits to each facility ensuring residents and staff receive the initial shot and the critical booster three weeks later.
“Now we can get families back together so it's a great feeling knowing as we go forward that we get to do it versus have to,” said John Fratamico, local district leader for CVS Health.
The Texas Department of State Health Services said Monday that more than 70% of the Texans who've died of COVID-19 have been 65 or older.
Texas Phase 1B COVID-19 Vaccine Priorities
- 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