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When will the COVID-19 vaccine be available to everyone? Texas is still in Phase 1, but here's a guess

It depends on vaccine production and how quickly other vaccines become available. Here's the state's best guess.

HOUSTON — As the American public grows anxious and tires of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, searches are up in Texas for "When will the pandemic end?" and "When will the coronavirus vaccine be available to everyone?"

Editor's note: the video in this story is from a Jan. 18 broadcast about frustrations over the vaccine registration process

The Lone Star State, as of January 2021, remained in Phase 1 of its vaccine distribution plan. This means Texas frontline/health workers (Phase 1A) and older citizens as well as those with health risks (Phase 1B) will remain the priority for vaccinations for now. 

Phase 1B recipients include:

  • People 65 years of age and older
  • People 16 years of age and older 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

When will the general public be able to get the coronavirus vaccine in Texas?

Because of the variables involved, at this time there's no specific date for the end of Phase 1 and when we would move on to another phase or the general public. But state leaders have a guess. As of Jan. 19, 2021, the state offers this guidance for those looking to get the vaccine: "Spring 2021 is the best estimate of when vaccine will be available for the general public, but that may change. It depends on vaccine production and how quickly other vaccines become available. The Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel (EVAP) is considering what criteria could be used for later stages of vaccine distribution. This webpage will be updated when those decisions are completed."

Where can I get a COVID-19 vaccination?

Texas is directing most of its COVID-19 vaccines received to large sites or hubs around the state to vaccinate more than 100,000 people.

LIST: Where to get the coronavirus vaccine in the Houston area

If you are in Phase 1 and eligible to receive the vaccine, please check the COVID‑19 Vaccination Hub Providers page to find a hub near you and learn how to register.

Alternately, you can also check the websites of vaccine providers listed on the Texas COVID‑19 Vaccine Availability map to see if they have enough vaccine supply at this time.

Remember: you should not go to any vaccination sites unless you have registered and have been given a specific location and time/day to get vaccinated.

About the two vaccines approved in the U.S.:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine: This vaccine is authorized for emergency use in persons aged 16 years and older. This vaccines requires two doses given 21 days apart. Clinical trial data shows that the vaccine is 95 percent effective at preventing COVID-19 infection starting seven days after the second dose. Individuals will not be considered fully protected until one to two weeks after they receive the second dose. Find more information on the CDC's website.
  • Moderna COVID-19 vaccine: This vaccine is authorized for emergency use in persons aged 18 years and older. This vaccine requires two doses given 28 days apart. Clinical trial data shows the vaccine is about 94 percent effective after the second dose. Find more information on the CDC's website.

ON THE WEB: Visit the state's Frequently Asked Questions about the coronavirus and the vaccine