As the COVID-19 vaccines begin to be distributed, Texas has made guidelines of who will be vaccinated first and the projected timeline. Currently, vaccines are in short supply, but as time passes, more and more will be widely available.
Vaccine allocations are decided by federal and state agencies. We will be receiving our first shipment of the Moderna vaccine and begin vaccinating frontline workers. The initial supplies will be very limited as companies need to supply multiple hospitals, health systems and other organizations who will be vaccinating people. We are in regular contact with those agencies and will be ready as the situation unfolds and more supplies are available.
Frontline healthcare workers are being prioritized by federal and state agencies to receive the vaccine. The most vulnerable patients will be vaccinated next, like those at skilled nursing facilities and those with certain high-risk health conditions.
Determine which of the following categories you fall in to help estimate when you will be vaccinated.
Who’s getting the vaccine first?
Front-line healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities are the first Texans to receive the vaccine, starting December. They are considered Phase 1A.
Phase 1A: Health Care Workers Definition
- Paid and unpaid workers in hospital settings working directly with patients who are positive or at high risk for COVID-19. Such as but not limited to:
- Physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists and other support staff (custodial staff, etc.)
- Additional clinical staff providing supporting laboratory, pharmacy, diagnostic and/or rehabilitation services
- Others having direct contact with patients or infectious materials
- Long-term care staff working directly with vulnerable residents. Includes:
- Direct care providers at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and state supported living centers
- Physicians, nurses, personal care assistants, custodial, food service staff.
- EMS providers who engage in 9-1-1 emergency services like pre-hospital care and transport
- Home health care workers, including hospice care, who directly interface with vulnerable and high-risk patients
- Residents of long-term care facilities
- Staff in outpatient care settings who interact with symptomatic patients. Such as but not limited to:
- Physicians, nurses, and other support staff (custodial staff, etc.)
- Clinical staff providing diagnostic, laboratory, and/or rehabilitation services
- Non 9-1-1 transport for routine care
- Healthcare workers in corrections and detention facilities
- Direct care staff in freestanding emergency medical care facilities and urgent care clinics
- Community pharmacy staff who may provide direct services to clients, including vaccination or testing for individuals who may have COVID
- Public health and emergency response staff directly involved in administration of COVID testing and vaccinations
- Last responders who provide mortuary or death services to decedents with COVID-19. Includes:
- Embalmers and funeral home workers who have direct contact with decedents
- Medical examiners and other medical certifiers who have direct contact with decedents
- School nurses who provide health care to students and teachers
Who’s getting the vaccine next and when?
Phase 1B vaccine recipients will likely be able to get the vaccine starting in January 2021. These include people 65 years of age and older, and people over age 16 with at least one chronic medical condition that puts them at greater risk.
Phase 1B Vaccine Priorities:
- People 65 years of age and older
- People 16 years of age and older with at least one chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19, such as but not limited to:
- Chronic kidney disease
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- 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
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus
When can everyone else get the vaccine?
Spring 2021 is the best estimate, but that may change. It depends on vaccine production and how quickly other vaccines become available.