Elderly citizens, those with underlying conditions next in line for COVID-19 vaccines in Abilene


FILE – In this undated file photo issued by the University of Oxford, a volunteer is administered the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. With major COVID-19 vaccines showing high levels of protection, British officials are cautiously — and they stress cautiously — optimistic that life may start returning to normal by early April. Even before regulators have approved a single vaccine, the U.K. and countries across Europe are moving quickly to organize the distribution and delivery systems needed to inoculate millions of citizens. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP, File)

ABILENE, Texas (PRESS RELEASE) – The Abilene-Taylor County Public Health District is preparing a screening tool to assist in scheduling people who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine based on the criteria in the Texas Department of State Health Services guidelines for distribution. 

The ATCPHD has created a web link to facilitate the process of screening people to participate. This link includes useful information for Taylor County residents and provides a form to fill out and submit. Each person can only submit one form. Multiple submissions and calls will cause further delays in scheduling. Additionally, people who do not currently qualify will not be placed on a waiting list or contacted. The ATCPHD is receiving many requests and can only respond to individuals who meet the state guidelines.

Currently eligible for vaccinations include the following workers:

  • Long-term care facility staff
  • Taylor County EMS personnel
  • Abilene Fire Department EMTs
  • School nurses
  • Health care workers in correctional & detention facilities within Taylor County
  • Healthcare workers in hospitals, long term care facilities, home health, private physicians’ offices, urgent care clinics
  • Public health & emergency response staff directly involved in COVID testing and vaccinations
  • Last responders – mortuary & death services

Additional eligible populations includes people who meet these conditions:

  • 65 years of age and older
  • 18 years of age and older (16 years for Pfizer vaccine which ATCPHD does not currently have) 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

At this time, the ATCPHD does not have a definitive timeline for when the next round of vaccinations will be delivered but will notify the public and registered eligible participants as soon as possible.

While waiting to be vaccinated, ATCPHD reminds everyone to stay vigilant to continue to slow the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wear a mask.
  • Practicing physical distancing
  • Wash or sanitize hands often
  • Cover sneezes and coughs
  • Stay home if you are sick

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