BRAZOS COUNTY, TX — The CDC advisory committee on immunization practices provided a summary of the recommended allocation following the phase 1b distribution of the COVID vaccine.
”The different phases like 1a, 1b, CDC guidelines. This is all great information it’s rich information but it’s also information and guidelines that are being produced in a very evolving situation,” said Daniel Owens a member of the Texas Infectious Disease Preparedness Task Force.
According to Daniel Owens, the expert vaccine allocation panel of Texas found 70 percent of COVID related deaths are directly related to the 65 and older population.
”For phase 1b our focus is going to be targeting that population while we’re still trying to roll through phase 1a, who is taking care of our health care workers and long-term care facility residents and our other front-line workers,” Owens added.
Logistics play a huge role in decision making and currently, the demand is greatly higher than the supply.
”Part of getting our vaccinations rolled out to our educators will be getting that increase vaccination supply to actually beat that demand of that workforce but also getting people in place to logistically to distribute those vaccines,” said Owens.
Other non-healthcare related essential workers are left feeling like they and others are at risk in their work environments.
”My opinion I feel like it’s kind of bad because I'm surrounded by so many people around here like elderly people that could get affected by it,” said Jonathan Reyes an HEB parking lot attendant.
According to the CDC, the recommendation for phase 1b distribution included police officers, educators, and grocery workers, which are not a part of Texas’s plan. But Owens encourages patience.
”It will take a little bit of time, just remember phase 1 is six weeks long and once phase 1 is complete, we’ll have a better distribution network setup, we’ll have a better supply and we’ll have a better idea on how to reach our priority populations,” Owens said.
The expert vaccine allocation panel of Texas has decided to include those 65 and older as well as ages 16 years and older affected by chronic medical conditions in phase 1b COVID vaccine allocation.