State officials announced starting Monday, March 29, every adult in Texas was eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
The announcement arrives less than a week after the state opened vaccine eligibility to Texans who were 50 and over. Health officials say now is the time to expand access as vaccine supply is expected to increase significantly within the coming weeks.
State officials ask vaccine providers to prioritize older, more vulnerable Texans when it comes to scheduling appointments.
“We are closing in on 10 million doses administered in Texas, and we want to keep up the momentum as the vaccine supply increases,” Imelda Garcia, DSHS associate commissioner for laboratory and infectious disease services and the chair of the Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel said.
Texas has administered more than 9.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine as of Tuesday (March 23). More than 6 million people have received at least one dose and more than 3 million have been fully vaccinated, according to state health officials. In order for herd immunity to be reached, health experts have said between 70 percent and 90 percent of Texans must be vaccinated.
Nearly one-fourth of Texas’ 29 million residents are under the age of 18. Of the three vaccines currently available and approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), only the two-dose Pfizer vaccine is available for ages 16 and older. The other two vaccines, manufactured by Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are available for individuals ages 18 and up.