Texas Provides a Useful Tool For Covid Vaccination Sites

Dr. Jeff Livingston

The state health department releases a map showing locations of COVID-19 vaccine providers.

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Senior Citizens are anxiously awaiting their turn to get their Covid vaccinations. After months of staying at home, grandparents look forward to hugging their grandchildren.

Frontline healthcare workers and those categorized as 1A started receiving vaccines on December 14th. Across the nation, category 1B candidates are also eligible for vaccination.

Public vaccine confidence is growing. Vaccination sites are in sites are increasing and the vaccine supply is improving. Many candidates do not know where to get them. Others are not aware the qualify for vaccination.

Vaccination categorieds are designated by each state and may slightly vary.

Texas category 1B candidates include:

  • People 65 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
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
  • Solid-organ transplantation
  • Obesity and severe obesity (body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or higher)
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

The vaccine rollout program is confusing and difficult to navigate. The Texas Department of Health released an interactive tool today to help. Check it out here.

The map allows users to type in their zip code to identify locations offering Covid vaccinations.

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We tested the accuracy of the locations by calling several of the listed entities on the map. While each of the listed providers was aware that the health department listed their service site, none of them had any available vaccines for category 1B users.

Senior citizens need to know you qualify for vaccination now. Unfortunately, you are going to have to take a proactive stance until distribution improves. Call various locations and get your name on the lists.

A safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine takes time to work. Each Pfizer and Moderna requires two doses with full immunity effective about three weeks after the second dose. The two approved vaccines require two doses one month apart with a three-week window to develop immunity inducing antibodies. This necessary dosing protocol extends the timeline from receipt of the vaccine until one can reliably count on immunity.

Vaccination provides 95% protection against sever Covid-19 disease. Scientist have not yet confirmed that vaccination also prevents us from carrying and spreading the virus. We can not forget that any of us may be asymptomatic carriers of SARS-CoV-2. Each of us may spread the virus before symptoms began and inadvertently pass the infection to another person.

After getting vaccinated we each must continue diligent mitigation strategies, but the faster you get your first dose, the closer you are to hugging your grandkids.

Social isolation. Loneliness. We are all tired and restless. Everyone wants to get back to normal life.

There is a pathway forward. Our world requires a collective effort to navigate through the pandemic. Each of us must make sacrifices to squelch the viral scourge.

Everyone in the world must continue to fight the virus. While we wait, we must continue to do what works to slow the spread. Public health entities must continue to identify exposures, isolate those at risk, test, and treat.

Each American must follow the mitigation strategies to protect themself and others. Stay at home. Wash your hands. Practice social distancing. And remember, wearing a mask is the easiest thing we can do to slow the spread of coronavirus and save others' lives .

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Dr. Jeff Livingston is nationally recognized thought leader, speaker, writer, blogger and practicing physician who is considered an expert in the use of social media to educate patients, using new and innovative technology to improve care outcomes and the patient experience. He is a prating Obgyn and serves as the CEO of MacArthur Medical Center. Dr. Jeff is the co-founder of the health website Medika.life and an active blogger on Medium.

Irving, TX
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