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(Christa McWhirter)

The Texas Department of State Health Services is expanding vaccine eligibility to all adults starting Monday, March 29.


While all adults will be able to get a vaccine, vaccine providers will be asked to prioritize those 80 years of age or older when booking appointments.

"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," said Imelda Garcia, DSHS associate commissioner for laboratory and infectious disease services and the chair of the Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel.

Anyone 16 years of age or older qualifies but only the Pfizer vaccine is approved to be administered to 16-year-olds and older. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved for 18 year olds and older.

DSHS says the state should receive an increased amount of doses next week, but Austin Public Health said Tuesday that it will still need to prioritize certain groups as vaccine remains limited. APH has not specified if it will continue to prioritize those currently eligible—people 50 years old or older, those with an underlying health condition, first responders and teachers.

And finally, four months into the vaccine rollout, the state is launching its own website to schedule vaccine appointments with local public health providers. And for those uncomfortable with or who lack access to technology, it is also launching a toll-free number to help people book a vaccine appointment.

Texas has administered more than 9.3 million doses of vaccine—6 million people with at least one dose and more than 3 million fully vaccinated. In Travis County, 287,718 have been administered at least one dose of the vaccine and 120,301 are fully vaccinated.

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