Ron Votral receives a vaccine against coronavirus (COVID-19) at a transit vaccination site in Robstown, Texas, February 9, 2021.
Go Nakamura | Reuters
Texas will allow residents 50 years and older to launch Covid-19 vaccines starting March 15, making it the most populous U.S. state to qualify for the age group so far, the state Department of Health announced Wednesday.
So far, Texas has allowed frontline health workers, people with underlying health conditions and 65-year-olds to get a chance. The state announced last week that it would immediately include school and child care workers on its list of vaccinations as well.
By aiming to expand the suitability for people over 50, the state wants to protect people who are at greatest risk for serious diseases against the virus, the department said in a statement. The move will add 5 million more Texans to the state’s priority list, though more than 1 million of them have already been vaccinated.
“Expansion to the age of 50 to 64 will continue the state’s priorities to protect those at greatest risk of serious consequences and to protect the state’s health care system,” said Imelda Garcia, co-commissioner for health services in the laboratory and infectious diseases, said a statement.
More than half of the elderly in the state received at least one dose of vaccine, according to the DSHS, and nearly a third were fully vaccinated.
Wednesday was also the end of the masked mandate of the Lone Star State, and businesses may now reopen at 100% capacity, governments Greg Abbott announced last week, pointing out that the state is eligible for vaccination, reduction in new cases and adequate hospital capacity. as reasoning.
Alaska on Tuesday became the first state eligible for vaccination for all residents aged 16 and older.