All adults will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Texas beginning Monday, March 29, according to a Tuesday news release from the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS).
TDSHS officials said they expect vaccine supplies to increase next week. The decision comes a week after the state moved into Phase 1C of its vaccination rollout plan, opening up vaccination clinics to people age 50 and older. Healthcare workers, first responders, school employees and people with preexisting medical conditions are among those who already have been eligible to receive the vaccine.
Harris County residents can visit readyharris.org or call 832-927-8787 to sign up for a vaccine waiting list. Houston residents can contact the city's COVID-19 Call Center at 832-393-4220 or visit houstonemergency.org/covid-19-vaccines/, although the city's waiting list is currently closed, according to its website.
"You don’t have to wait to sign up for our waitlist," Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo wrote Tuesday on Twitter. "Do it now at http://readyharris.org."
TDSHS is still prioritizing the elderly in its vaccination plan, directing vaccine providers to accommodate people 80 years old or older first when scheduling appointments and immediately moving them to the front of the line even if they show up without an appointment.
TDSHS also said it plans to launch a website to allow people to register for a shot through some public health providers, and the public can use it to enroll in the Texas Public Health Vaccine Scheduler to identify upcoming vaccine clinics hosted by TDSHS or a participating local health department and to be notified when new clinics and appointments become available.
“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, TDSHS associate commissioner for laboratory and infectious disease services and the chair of the Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel, said in a news release. “As eligibility opens up, we are asking providers to continue to prioritize people who are the most at risk of severe disease, hospitalization and death – such as older adults.”
People can continue to find additional providers though the TDSHS Vaccine Information page at dshs.texas.gov/covidvaccine.
For those who do not have the option to register online, TDSHS will launch a toll-free number to provide assistance making an appointment with a participating provider or to aid in locating another provider that has the vaccine available.
As of Monday, Texas had administered more than 9.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine. More than 6 million of those people have received at least one dose and more than 3 million are fully vaccinated, according to TDSHS data.