EL PASO, Texas — University Medical Center’s West Clinic became the first El Paso facility to administer Covid-19 vaccinations to high-risk members of the general public on Wednesday.
The clinic provided vaccinations for those ages 75 and older for several hours in an event that wasn’t widely publicized.
The El Paso Department of Public Health announced Wednesday that there would soon be more to come. In the coming weeks, it plans to offer Covid-19 vaccinations for El Pasoans who are 65 years old and older, and those who are at least age 16 with certain chronic medical conditions.
The plans are in line with recent guidance from the Texas Department of State Health Services aimed at “protecting the most vulnerable populations.”
“Because Phase 1B provides the vaccine to high-risk individuals regardless of their work sector or status, it will provide protection for a number of critical populations at an increased risk of getting Covid-19,” said El Paso health department director Angela Mora.
The vaccine, which first arrived in El Paso on Dec. 14, up until Wednesday had only been administered so far to front-line health care workers.
In a statement, El Paso health officials said this “next Covid-19 priority group will begin receiving the vaccine within the next few weeks,” but provided no further details on that timeline.
Qualifying underlying health conditions for the next phase of the vaccine will include but are not limited to:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies
- Solid organ transplantation
- Obesity and severe obesity
- Sickle cell disease
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus
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