Texas Make Vaccines Available to All Adults Starting Today


COVID-19 vaccines are available to any adult who wants one in Texas as of Monday.

The move makes Texas the most populous U.S. state to expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all adults. The state has nearly 30 million residents.

It comes more than a month before President Joe Biden’s goal of opening vaccine eligibility to everyone by May 1.

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This week Texas will receive more than 1 million doses of the vaccine.

This week, the Texas Department of State Health Services allocated 818,410 doses across 779 providers in 202 counties and the federal government is expected to send another 200,000 doses to pharmacy locations and federally qualified health centers.

The health department is also ordering 587,950 second doses for people who are expecting to get their second shot in the coming weeks.

Dallas County still needs hundreds of volunteers to help staff its COVID vaccination clinic at Fair Park.

Starting Monday in Texas anyone who is 16 and older is eligible. The Texas Department of State Health Services said individuals who are 16 and 17 years old only have access the Pfizer vaccine which is authorized for individuals in that age group. A parent or legal guardian must also accompany a minor to get a shot.

People must register and join a waitlist in advance in order to get an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine. People can register through public health departments, many of which are operating large vaccination hubs.

It doesn't matter where you live in the state, you can sign up in any county.

Signing up on several waiting list may increase someone's chance of getting a hold of a shot faster.

Local systems like Parkland Health& Hospital System , UT Southwestern, Baylor Scott & White, Medical City Healthcare , Methodist Health System, Texas Health Resources , JPS Health and others are either providing vaccinations on-site for those who part of their systems, or have more information for people to look at.

Check in with your own provider too to see if they're giving vaccines and if they have appointments available.

Retail pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens are also providing vaccinations, but they book quickly and people need to check back frequently for updates.

The Texas Department of State Health Services also provides a list of all the providers but suggests people check in with those entities to make sure vaccines are available.

The state also has a website called 'Get the Vaccine' that serves as a way for people to register.

They're called "vaccine hunters" and suggest looking in counties that may not have large populations or joining Facebook groups like "DFW Covid Vaccine Finder."

Alaska was the first state to open up vaccine eligibility to all adults.

Texas has one of the nation’s slowest vaccination rates. About 12% of the state’s population had been fully vaccinated as of Saturday, and about 24% had received at least one dose, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

In comparison, neighboring New Mexico has fully vaccinated more than 21% of its population and given at least one dose to 36% of its residents.

More than 10 million coronavirus vaccinations have been administered in Texas, according to state health officials.

Texas reported 2,285 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases on Sunday, as well as 63 additional deaths. New cases have continued to drop in the state. Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases in Texas has lessened by 675.9, a decrease of 14.8%, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Want to Get on a Vaccine Waitlist?

County health departments have launched waitlists for those who wish to be inoculated and eligible under Phase 1A, 1B, 1C and child care and education staff.

You can register to recieve the vaccination in Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties. Links are below:

Waitlist Links: Collin - Search Waitlist | Dallas | Denton | Tarrant

You do not need to be a resident of the county to register for a COVID-19 vaccine in that county -- registration is open to anyone in Texas. For those without internet access, Tarrant County is also taking registrations by phone at 817-248-6299. In Dallas County, call the DCHHS vaccine hotline at 1-855-IMMUNE9 (1-855-466-8639). In Denton County, call 940-349-2585.

NBC 5's Sophia Beausoleil contributed to this report.