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Coronavirus, Texas: Vaccine eligibility expands at 1C, but health experts fear that vaccine hesitation can affect herd immunity

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Houston, Texas (KTRK)-Texas is expanding the availability of vaccines to people over the age of 50 in the state’s 1C phase, the age group that accounts for 93% of COVID-19 deaths in Texas. I will.

Texas 1C Phase Is different from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1C category definition. The state has announced that the phases will be based on age, not occupation. This means that some key workers will not be included in this next deployment phase.

The 1C Group contains about 5 million people. According to the Texas Department of Health, about one million people in that age group have already been vaccinated. If groups 1A, 1B, and 1C are open, 12 to 14 million Texas people are eligible to be vaccinated.

On Thursday, Memorial Hermann Healthcare announced that it would begin booking people over the age of 50 to be vaccinated at the COVID-19 Vaccine Drive-Through Clinic in Sugar Land. By Friday, the medical system announced that all appointments had been booked.

Memorial Hermann also pushed for immunization of local educators after last week’s federal directive moved all teachers and nursery teachers to the priority list.

See related articles: 2-day teacher-only COVID-19 vaccine clinic

“We call it Teacher’s Week,” said Vinita Patel, Vice President of Pharmacy Services at Memorial Hermann. “We are vaccination of more than 5,000 teachers today and an additional 5,000 teachers tomorrow, so we will be able to continue to support and provide herd immunity. It starts with a teacher who teaches. Today is an exciting day. “

In Harris County, 388,426 people are currently fully vaccinated. March 14..

Health experts estimate that approximately 50,000 people need to be vaccinated daily for the Houston region to reach herd immunity by the end of summer.

See related articles: When can you reach group immunity?

Dr. Catherine Troisi, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the UT Health School of Public Health, said:

While more people are vaccinated, Dr. Troisji said there is still hesitation in the vaccine, along with those who are concerned about how the vaccine was made and want to postpone vaccination. ..

“There are concerns that the vaccine was developed quickly or that the vaccine was developed quickly, but that doesn’t mean that the safety protocol was skipped,” Dr. Troisi said. “Because these were done at the same time as other things, we were able to deploy the vaccine faster, and our technology has improved since the last vaccine developed, and it’s okay to ask questions. I would like to encourage people. Ask questions and do research, but it is advisable to get the information from a reliable source. “

Dr. Troisi said he had also heard discussions about the efficacy rates of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine and those who want to choose which vaccine to take. She said people may have no choice due to the supply of vaccines, but she reassures the community that all three vaccines are effective in preventing severe illness and death. Let me do it.

“The J & J vaccine doesn’t seem to be that good when you look at the percentage of efficacy, but these three vaccines we tested were tested in different populations, different endpoints, and perhaps most importantly, in J & J. It’s important to remember that the vaccine was tested when the variants were available. ” “It really compares apples and oranges. All three are good vaccines. Get whatever you can.”

UTHealth has also been designated by the Texas Health Department as a COVID-19 Vaccine Hub in Harris County.You can visit website Register online.

Earlier this week, Memorial Hermann Healthcare announced the launch of the Digital COVID-19 Vaccination Request Form. This form can also be accessed from Memorial Hermann Healthcare Hospital. website.

If you would like to be on the waiting list for vaccines through your local health department, please visit the Houston Department of Health. website Or call 832-393-4220, and the Harris County Public Health Department. website Or call 832-927-8787

For other resources and information Harris County Public Health Website..

See related section: Some Texas people are hesitant to vaccinate with COVID-19. This is how health officials counter skepticism.

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