Anyone 65 and older and people with chronic health conditions such as, but not limited to, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, obesity, and pregnancy will be among the next group to be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccines, state health officials announced today.
The group, known as priority group 1B, is part of the state COVID-19 allocation plan recommended by an Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel that is made up of physicians, health experts, lawmakers, and DSHS officials.
Since Dec. 14, vaccines have been administered to people in priority group 1A, which prioritizes essential health care workers and vulnerable populations and is in line with the panel’s guiding principles and health care workers definition.
The Texas Medical Association, along with the Texas Hospital Association, has called on hospitals to include all physicians, medical students, and residents in the priority group for vaccines at this time. It is still unclear when vaccines will be made available to all physicians and practice staff throughout the state.
TMA has been involved in the planning discussions with the vaccine allocation panel and has been advocating for all Texas physicians and their staff to be vaccinated and able to administer the vaccine quickly.
Priority group 1B – which will begin receiving vaccines “in the coming weeks,” DSHS said. – is made up of:
- People 65 years of age and older
- People 16 years of age and older with at least one chronic medical condition such as but not limited to:
- Chronic kidney disease;
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD);
- 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; and
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus.
“The state will work with vaccine providers and local partners to ensure that people who are 65 and older or have the medical conditions listed below and who also work in front-line and critical industries have access to the vaccine so they will be protected from COVID-19 while on the job,” DSHS said. “Texas equally will strive to ensure vaccine reaches communities with health disparities in accordance with Texas Vaccine Allocation Guiding Principles.”
If you have questions, contact DSHS’ COVID-19 Vaccine Provider hotline, which is available from 8 am to 5 pm (CT) Monday through Friday, at (877) 835-7750 or via email.
You are also encouraged to contact the TMA Knowledge Center with any questions or concerns at (800) 880-7955 or via email.
As always, you can find more information on the TMA COVID-19 Resource Center, which is continually updated with news, information, tools, and more.