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Texas Will Open Vaccine Eligibility To All Adults Monday

By Matt Largey, KUT

The State of Texas says it will allow all adults to get the COVID-19 vaccine starting March 29.

“We are closing in on 10 million doses administered in Texas, and we want to keep up the momentum as the vaccine supply increases,” said Imelda Garcia, associate commissioner for laboratory and infectious disease services at the Department of State Health Services. “As eligibility opens up, we are asking providers to continue to prioritize people who are the most at risk of severe disease, hospitalization and death – such as older adults.”

Up until now, the vaccine has been available in Texas only to health care workers, first responders, people 50 years and older, people with underlying health conditions, school employees and child care workers.

The expanded eligibility will mean people 16 years and older will qualify to get a vaccine, though the Pfizer vaccine is the only one currently approved for use in people 16 to 18 years old. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved for people 18 years and older.

DSHS has told vaccine providers to prioritize people 80 years and older — allowing them to go to the front of the line, even if they don't have an appointment.

The agency will also launch a new website aimed at connecting people with vaccine clinics through public health agencies.

So far, about 20% of Texans have had at least one dose of a COVID vaccine.