The Texas Division of Emergency Management recently outlined its goals to the state’s emergency management coordinators, county judges and mayors concerning the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Our goal, while vaccine supply is limited, is to quickly vaccinate as many health care workers, residents of long-term care facilities, and people at risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 as possible,” said TDEM officials. “Vaccine providers are encouraged to prioritize health care workers but can start vaccinating people in Phase 1B if they have vaccine available after vaccinating all available and willing people in Phase 1A.”
TDEM directed health care workers in Phase 1A to contact their employer about getting vaccinated.
“Smaller health care facilities and medical offices can reach out to large vaccine providers to arrange for vaccination of their employees,” TDEM officials said.
The Department of State Health of Services has provided a map on the website, https://txdshs.maps.arcgis.com/.../webappvi.../index.html , of Texas COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Locations.
The Texas COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Locations map shows the locations where vaccine has been sent. It will be updated weekly after the new shipments of vaccine have been shipped out to vaccine providers.
“People in Phase 1B may be able to get vaccinated now if vaccine providers have vaccine available after vaccinating all Phase 1A people,” TDEM officials stated. “Visit the Texas COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Locations map to see which “providers have received vaccine and contact them to find out if you can make an appointment to get vaccinated. People can check the map weekly to determine if there is a vaccine provider near them.”
Regarding safety of the vaccine, TDEM said information gathered in large-scale clinical trials and thoroughly reviewed by scientists at the FDA has proven that the vaccines are safe and effective.
“The vaccine will be provided free of charge to anyone who wants it,” TDEM officials informed. “For people with insurance, insurance will cover any fee to administer it by the provider. People without insurance won’t be charged.”
TDEM officials said the vaccine is not required. People that are vaccinated, however, will still need to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to help prevent the spread of the virus.
“Getting vaccinated is voluntary, and people cannot be required to get the vaccine because it is being administered under an emergency use authorization, not as a fully licensed vaccine,” TDEM officials stated. “People still need to take precautions like physical distancing and wearing a mask to help stop the spread of COVID-19 as people get vaccinated and we learn more about the immunity produced by the vaccines.”
City of Marshall officials shared the following criteria for Phase 1A and 1B of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution:
Phase 1A: Health Care Workers Definition
1. Paid and unpaid workers in hospital settings working directly with patients who are positive or at high risk for COVID-19. Such as but not limited to: physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists and other support staff (custodial staff, etc.); additional clinical staff providing supporting laboratory, pharmacy, diagnostic and/or rehabilitation services; and others having direct contact with patients or infectious materials.
2. Long-term care staff working directly with vulnerable residents, which includes: direct care providers at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and state supported living centers; and physicians, nurses, personal care assistants, custodial, food service staff;
3. EMS providers who engage in 9-1-1 emergency services like pre-hospital care and transport
4. Home health care workers, including hospice care, who directly interface with vulnerable and high-risk patients
5. Residents of long-term care facilities
1. Staff in outpatient care settings who interact with symptomatic patients. Such as but not limited to: physicians, nurses, and other support staff (custodial staff, etc.); clinical staff providing diagnostic, laboratory, and/or rehabilitation services; non 9-1-1 transport for routine care; and healthcare workers in corrections and detention facilities
2. Direct care staff in freestanding emergency medical care facilities and urgent care clinics;
3. Community pharmacy staff who may provide direct services to clients, including vaccination or testing for individuals who may have COVID;
4. Public health and emergency response staff directly involved in administration of COVID testing and vaccinations;
5. Last responders who provide mortuary or death services to decedents with COVID-19, which includes: embalmers and funeral home workers who have direct contact with decedents, and medical examiners and other medical certifiers who have direct contact with decedents;
6. And school nurses who provide health care to students and teachers.
- People 65 years of age and older
- People 16 years of age and older with at least one chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19, such as but not limited to: cancer; chronic kidney disease; COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease); heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies; solid organ transplantation; obesity and severe obesity (body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or higher); pregnancy; sickle cell disease; and Type 2 diabetes mellitus.