AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Department of State Health Services has broken Texans up into a number of priority groups to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
These healthcare workers were the first people to get the vaccine starting the week of Dec. 14, 2020.
- Paid and unpaid workers in hospital settings working directly with patients who are positive or at high risk for COVID-19.
- Long-term care staff working directly with vulnerable residents.
- EMS providers who engage in 9-1-1 emergency services like pre-hospital care and transport
- Home healthcare workers, including hospice care, who directly interface with vulnerable and high-risk patients
- Residents of long-term care facilities
- Staff in outpatient care settings who interact with symptomatic patients.
- Direct care staff in freestanding emergency medical care facilities and urgent care clinics
- Community pharmacy staff who may provide direct services to clients, including vaccination or testing for individuals who may have COVID-19
- Public health and emergency response staff directly involved in the administration of COVID-19 testing and vaccinations
- Last responders who provide mortuary or death services to decedents with COVID-19.
- School nurses who provide health care to students and teachers
On Dec. 29 DSHS said providers could begin vaccinating those in Phase 1B, but because of vaccine supply and provider ability, some are not vaccinating this group yet.
- 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: Cancer; 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); Pregnancy; Sickle cell disease; Type 2 diabetes mellitus
Phase 2 has not yet begun. Texas has not outlined any specifications as far as who can receive the vaccine in Phase 2, but it expects at that point the vaccine supply will meet demand. Its goals for Phase 2 is to provide equitable access to the vaccine for those who are vulnerate and frontline workers, and it aims to make sure the group of higher risk people has a high vaccination rate.