People 50 and older in Texas will be eligible to get the COVID vaccine starting Monday.
There are about 4 million unvaccinated Texans between the ages of 50 and 64, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Until now, only health care workers, people over 65, people with underlying health conditions, school employees and child care workers were eligible for the vaccine.
The state says people in this new 1C group accounted for 20% of COVID-related deaths since the pandemic began.
“Expanding to ages 50 to 64 will continue the state’s priorities of protecting those at the greatest risk of severe outcomes and preserving the state’s health care system,” Imelda Garcia, DSHS associate commissioner for laboratory and infectious disease, said in a press release. She also chairs the state’s Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel, which decides who is eligible and allocates vaccine doses to providers across the state.
So far, about 22% of Texas’ population over age 18 has gotten at least one dose of the vaccine.