Health care workers to be among first to receive COVID-19 vaccine in Texas, Abbott says

Coronavirus vaccine
By Talk 1370

AUSTIN (Talk1370.com) -- Health care and frontline workers will be among the first to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Texas, according to a plan released Monday by Gov. Greg Abbott.

Abbott announced the "guiding principles" for the state's vaccine allocation process, which is expected to begin as early as next month.

Health care workers likely to provide direct care for COVID-19 patients and other vulnerable residents will be among the first to receive the vaccine, including staff at hospitals and long-term care facilities, emergency medical services and home health care workers.

The criteria that will be used for the initial distribution of the vaccine includes:

  • Protecting health care workers who fill a critical role in caring for and preserving the lives of COVID-19 patients and maintaining the health care infrastructure for all who need it.
  • Protecting frontline workers who are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the nature of their work providing critical services and preserving the economy.
  • Protecting vulnerable populations who are at greater risk of severe disease and death if they contract COVID-19.
  • Mitigating health inequities due to factors such as demographics, poverty, insurance status and geography.
  • Data-driven allocations using the best available scientific evidence and epidemiology at the time, allowing for flexibility for local conditions.
  • Geographic diversity through a balanced approach that considers access in urban and rural communities and in affected ZIP codes.
  • Transparency through sharing allocations with the public and seeking public feedback.

The state's Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel (EVAP) helped shape the guidelines, and will make recommendations to DSHS on how and when to roll out the vaccine to vulnerable populations.

"These guiding principles established by the Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel will ensure that the State of Texas swiftly distributes the COVID-19 vaccine to Texans who voluntarily choose to be immunized," Abbott said. tt. "This foundation for the allocation process will help us mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, protect the most vulnerable Texans, and safeguard crucial state resources."