Despite eligibility expansions, Texas expecting less COVID vaccines

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Starting Monday, March 15, 5 million people between the ages of 50 to 64 will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine –expanding the overall numbers statewide.

That decision stems from death data on the tier “1C” group that found that people in that age range accounts for around 20% of COVID-19 deaths, according to a commissioner with the Texas Department of State Health Services. 

"And when you add people 65 and older - the combined group accounts for over 93% of all COVID-related death,” DSHS Associate Commissioner Imelda Garcia said.

The expansion comes just after a White House mandate to vaccinate teachers and childcare workers.

But next week, the state will only receive 80% of the vaccines they received as part of this week’s vaccine shipment.

“The federal government has sent out all the Johnson & Johnson vaccine that had been manufactured this week. The states are getting a lot less J&J this time,” Garcia said, adding that the federal government is making up the difference to help states.

According to Garcia, half of the people in the state aged 65 and older have been vaccinated, and only 20% of people remain in that group who want a shot.


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