Texas Department of State Health Services finalized next phase of COVID-19 vaccine roll-out

VIDEO: Texas Department of State Health Services finalized next phase of COVID-19 vaccine roll-out

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The Texas Department of State Health Services is planning to open the third category this month, but did not say who will be included.

At the moment the state is working with ISD’s across the state to deem them vaccine providers. So far, neither Amarillo ISD nor Canyon have requested to be a part of this.

In a statement, Amarillo ISD did say they are partnering with the Amarillo Public Health Department and other local vendors to facilitate a quick distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The City of Amarillo said they are welcoming teachers at the Civic Center and note they are open on the weekends. Meanwhile the state department is expecting to receive more than one million first doses of vaccine in Texas.

“Those doses will go to more than 16 hundred individual providers and that is hundredths more than what we have been able to provide vaccines to in a single week, more than ever before,” said Imelda Garcia, Associate Commissioner of Laboratory and Infectious Disease Services for the Texas C.

Among that allocation, are 220 thousand doses of the new Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

They will be shipping it out on Monday, but at the moment there is no saying if the Amarillo Public Health Department will be among the providers to receive it.

Still, Garcia adds all three brands are effective and the most important part is just receiving a vaccine.

“The first opportunity that you have to be vaccinated, you should jump at that regardless of what brand that is available.” said Garcia.

So far, over six million vaccine doses have been administered in Texas, and 46 percent of those 65 and older have received at least one dose.

Despite the mask mandate ending, the Texas Department of State Health Services stressed the importance of following COVID-19 precautions.

“Our public health recommendations include that everyone should maintain social distance, wear a mask when you are around people you don’t live with, stay home when you can. We know these protective actions slow the spread of COVID-19 among the individuals taking them, their family, friends and community.” said Chris Van Deusen, Director of Media Relations for Texas Department of State Health Services.

The State Health Department is also looking to expand the use of the national guard for other vaccination efforts beyond just seniors, but is not yet set in stone.

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