AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Around five million people across the state fall under the new Phase1C category, which includes those 50 through 64 years old.
Here in the Amarillo area, already around 14 thousand people in that range have received at least the first dose of the vaccine.
Most likely those 14 thousand people either work in healthcare or have a medical condition that allowed them to receive the vaccine under Phase1B.
And although 14 thousand may sound like a lot, they make up 20 percent of the Phase1C population in Randall County and 16 percent of the Phase1C population in Potter County.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services this age range makes up the next group most vulnerable to COVID-19.
“20 percent of the deaths in Texas have occurred in people ages 50 to 64. And when you add people 60 and older, the combined group accounts for over 93 percent of all COVID related deaths,” said Imelda Garcia, associate commissioner of Laboratory and Infectious Disease Services for the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Garcia adds that was the main reason for making this group the next eligible for the vaccine.
Now that the category will open on Monday, the City of Amarillo says they are confident they can handle the influx of people.
“Well our mass vaccination clinic has been set up since day one to accommodate large numbers of people coming in without appointment and we have be have ample supply of vaccine,” said Kevin Starbuck, deputy city manager for the City of Amarillo “So we don’t anticipate any issues next week, really look forward to that expansion of categories and that ability to continue to put vaccine in arms next week and continue that path to put COVID behind us.”
Starbuck estimates the vaccine clinic can handle around four thousand people on any given day.
Since their numbers have dwindle to about 12 hundred a day in this past week, he says they welcome the expansion of the eligibility criteria.
He also noted the Civic Center offers extended hours every Tuesday through 7:00 in the evening.
They are also open on the first Saturday of every month to help make it accessible to different schedules.
The City says their line can get to be the length of seven and a half football fields on their busier days.
Which is why they have a fast track area set up to take care of patients who have mobility issues or respiratory issues and are unable to walk the line.