AUSTIN (KXAN) — Starting on March 29, every single adult in Texas will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and seniors 80 and older will be able to get it with or without an appointment. The state also plans to launch a brand new vaccine registration website next week.
The Texas Department of State Health Services announced Tuesday it is able to do this now because of an increase in the vaccine supply. DSHS added that the state has made “great progress in vaccinating priority groups” and it wants to continue to do so.
“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,” explained Imelda Garcia, DSHS associate commissioner for laboratory and infectious disease services and the chair of the Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel.
People who are 80 and older will get moved to the front of the line for getting the vaccine. All they have to do is show up at any vaccine provider and they can immediately get vaccinated.
Details on the new registration website
DSHS will launch a website next week to register for the vaccine to get a shot through a public health provider. DSHS officials did not say which day next week, but one would assume that the registration process will likely open on or before March 29, when all adults become eligible.
“The public will be able to enroll in the Texas Public Health Vaccine Scheduler to identify upcoming vaccine clinics hosted by DSHS or a participating local health department and be notified when new clinics and appointments become available,” DSHS said in its release.
It added that Texans can continue to look for other providers through the DSHS Vaccine Information page.
DSHS says online registration will be the best option for most people, but it will also open up a toll-free number to help people who might not have internet access make an appointment or find a provider.
Texas nearing 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered
DSHS said that Texas has administered 9.3 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine statewide. That includes more than six million first doses of the vaccine. Of those, more than three million are fully vaccinated.
Most vaccines are authorized for people 18 years old and older, but the FDA has authorized the Pfizer vaccine people 16 and older.