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Texas Abandons CDC Vaccine Priority Guidelines

- New Eligibility Based on Age

Frontline workers deemed “essential” by FEMA and state government officials over the past year were recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be in Group 1C, the third priority group for COVID-19 vaccines, but Texas officials have thrown out those guidelines and substituted their own.

Now, Group 1C includes anyone aged 50 years or older, leaving behind other frontline workers in restaurants, bars, grocery stores and multiple other industries – including field reporters and photographers working for broadcasters and newspapers.

That being said, most vaccination centers haven’t finished administering doses to Texans in Groups 1A and 1B and won’t start on Group 1C until they’re done with the first two groups, though there is no consistency in policy across centers.

Guidelines vs. Rules
While people often joke that rules are meant to be broken, the reality is that guidelines are just that; they’re not rules, and state officials have the legal authority to accept or reject CDC guidelines.

The state’s Emergency Vaccine Allocation Panel said it decided to dispense with the CDC’s recommendations because hospitalizations and deaths increase with age.

Current Vaccine Eligibility
Texans in the following categories are eligible for a COVID vaccine now:

  • People 50 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
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies
  • Solid organ transplantation
  • Obesity or severe obesity (Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30kg/m2 or higher)
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

Questions? Contact TAB’s Oscar Rodriguez or call (512) 322-9944.

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