El Paso, TX

All Adult El Pasoans are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine beginning March 29th

Euri Giles | Clareifi

According to The Texas Department of State Health Services:

"Texas to Open COVID-19 Vaccination to All Adults on March 29"

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City efforts to make the COVID-19 vaccine easily accessible to El Pasoans have been an ongoing priority using a phased approach. However beginning this coming Monday, March 29 all adult El Pasoans age will become eligible to receive an available COVID-19 vaccine.

On their website, The Texas Department of State Health Services states that:

"Online registration will be the best option for most people. For those for whom that is not an option, DSHS will launch a toll-free number to provide assistance making an appointment with a participating provider or locating another provider that has a vaccine available.

To date, Texas has administered more than 9.3 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, equating to more than 6 million people with at least one dose and more than 3 million fully vaccinated. Most vaccines are authorized for people 18 years old and older; the FDA has authorized the Pfizer vaccine for use in people 16 and older."

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.

The City of El Paso announced via Twitter previously that vaccine statistics would be monitored through a new vaccine dashboard.

The dashboard can be viewed on the epstrong.org website.

El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser and County Judge Ricardo Samaniego announced the community vaccine dashboard on March 8th.

At the time data from the Texas Department of State Health Services indicated that the number of people vaccinated with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine is was at 150,383.

The number of people in El Paso County who had been fully vaccinated stood 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. With the announcement of vaccines available to all adult Texans, including El Pasoans the amount of fully vaccinated individuals is expected to rise quickly.

Until March 29th, 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. Yesterday was two weeks since I received a single dose vaccine of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

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 continues to offer free rides to COVID-19 vaccine sites.

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

I experienced mild side effects (muscle aches, fever, and a headache) the day after I received the vaccine. By the following day, all symptoms had subsided and I felt better.

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 ranging from politics, parenting, food, caregiving, and advocacy, to living a better life. You can find him on all social media @clareifi — Please Allow Me To Clareifi.

El Paso, TX
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