Texas focuses on 75 years and older for COVID-19 vaccination

VIDEO: Texas focuses on 75 years and older for COVID-19 vaccination

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - So far, 2.7 million doses of vaccine have been administered in Texas, that is about 700 thousand more than last week.

Although at the moment one in four Texans over the age of 65 has received at least one dose of the vaccine, once those numbers are broken down, there seems to be a small dip in those over the age of 80.

“We want to put an emphasis in vaccinating people who are at least 75 years since they are at the greatest risk for severe disease and death,” said Imelda Garcia, associate commissioner of Laboratory and Infectious Disease Services for DSHS.

Garcia adds the state expects to receive about 400 thousand doses of the vaccine next week and is planning to allocate more of those to a broader group of providers like pharmacies, community and rural clinics, and medical practices that specialize in care for older adults.

They are, however, keeping the allocation for vaccine hubs steady and note the vaccine will continue to be free even through pharmacies.

She says they are also talking with vaccine hub leaders across the state to figure out ways to accommodate older adults.

“Some of these could be setting aside a specific number of doses for our seniors, serving them during special hours, helping them move more quickly through the line with a fast track lane or taking vaccine directly to them,” said Garcia.

Thursday the mobile vaccination teams aimed at vaccinating those living in what are now considered vaccine deserts are being sent to five more counties.

These are the same teams composed of national guard members who were last week deployed to the first five counties, including Sherman County.

Although this time, none of the five are in the Panhandle.

And after not opening any new hubs this week, the state announced they are looking to open others next week but, did not say if any would be in the Panhandle.

“We know we can’t have necessarily a hub in every single county. We are really encouraging regional partnership within those hub designations to make sure surrounding counties have access to that,” said Garcia.

Thursday, Governor Greg Abbott said Texas set a new one-day record for the number of vaccinations administered.

He adds Texas was the first state to vaccinate one million people and expects that in a few days we will surpass three million vaccinations administered.

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