WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - The Texas Department of State Health Services is opening the COVID-19 vaccine to Texans 50-years-old and up on Monday.
Wichita County public health experts say as we continue to move through the 1-A and 1-B tiers, this new 1-C addition puts Wichita County one step closer to getting everyone vaccinated.
“I really truly believe vaccinations are our way out of the pandemic,” said Lou Kreidler, director of the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District.
Before the DSHS made their announcement, individuals had to meet certain requirements to protect themselves against COVID-19.
“With the new guidelines, you no longer have to have a pre-existing health condition if you’re between 50 and 64, you can get vaccinated regardless,” said Kreidler.
However, as the state opens up more tiers, it means more vaccinations will be needed.
“I think we’ve got something over 4,000 shots that will be administered over the next 10 days, that’s tremendous and if we can add to that even more would be better,” said Woody Gossom, Wichita County Judge.
“We have continually asked the state to provide us with more vaccines and that has not be realized but we continue to ask and will continue to ask,” said Kreidler.
Last April, the county saw three cases of people 65 and older hospitalized. By the first of the year, we had 790 cases. As of today we only have 44, something experts say is proof that vaccines are working.
“Almost all individuals that reside in a nursing home and those that work in the nursing homes, as well their primary care givers that come in so we really can see a difference in the disease burden in those age groups where we’re getting people vaccinated,” said Kreidler.
They hope those in the 1C group will be just as excited to line up for their turn.
“There are individuals who want to be vaccinated and realize the benefit of being vaccinated,” said Kreidler.
The 1C tier doesn’t officially open up until Monday. The public health district says all three groups will be vaccinated in the order in which they sign up. Hopefully those ages 50-64 can begin signing up soon.