El Paso, TX

City efforts to make COVID-19 vaccine easily accessible to El Pasoans

Euri Giles | Clareifi

As more El Pasoans are registering to receive the available COVID-19 vaccines the City of El Paso is working to make sure that citizens are aware of the available resources, as well as city and county-wide restrictions that remain in place.

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The City of El Paso announced via Twitter today that:

"El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser and County Judge Ricardo Samaniego will be making a joint presentation of the community vaccine dashboard today March 8th at noon."

Parts of the discussion are expected to include details about the current number of active COVID-19 cases in El Paso County, as well as numbers on vaccination efforts. The duo will also likely re-visit the city and county wide restrictions that will remain in place even after Texas officially no longer has a mask mandate in place as of this comming Wednesday, March 10th.

According to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services - The number of people vaccinated in El Paso County, TX with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine is currently at 150,383.

The number of people in El Paso County who have been fully vaccinated stands at 90,051.

These numbers are rising as more El Pasoans can register for the vaccine. El Paso county like the rest of Texas is moving through a tiered approach to administering the available doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

According to The City of El Paso:

"If you qualify under the current Phase 1A or 1B and have already registered to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, you’re on the list! As vaccines become available, those who have registered will receive an email and text message when it’s their turn to book their COVID-19 vaccine."

Older citizens above the age of 65 have priority, followed by Individuals aged 16+ with underlying medical conditions that may increase their risk of infection.

According to the CDC:

"Federal and state authorities have developed guidelines to prioritize vulnerable populations in the first phase of the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended the following groups be prioritized before the general public:

  • Phase 1a: health care workers and residents and staff of long-term care facilities 
  • Phase 1b: frontline essential workers and adults 75 years of age and older 
  • Phase 1c: adults 65-74 years of age, individuals age 16-64 with high-risk medical conditions, and other essential workers 

In early January, the federal Administration expanded Phase 1b to include adults 65 years of age and older.

Each state can choose to adopt federal recommendations or implement its own prioritization guidelines. While we do not know the exact timing, vaccines may be available to the general public as soon as April or May. "

I fall into one of the categories qualifying me for a COVID-19 vaccination. As an independently contracted writer, I am one of many Americans, Texans, and El Pasoans without health insurance. I was able to register for a vaccine under the Federal program for the uninsured.

While I don't have any issues with getting to my scheduled appointment as I do have reliable transportation, that is not necessarily the case for all El Pasoans.

As such, Sun Metro - The City of El Paso bus service is offering free rides to COVID-19 vaccine sites beginning today.

While nervous about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine for the first time, I'm also eager to have an added layer of protection in addition to my mask and social distancing.

El Paso and the rest of Texas is still a long way off from achieving "herd immunity" to COVID-19. It remains all of our responsibility to ensure that we are taking the right measures to protect ourselves as well as our neighbors.

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Euri Giles covers lifestyle content and news in Texas ranging from parenting, and food to politics.

El Paso, TX
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