More Will Be Eligible for Vaccine This Week

People ages 50 and older will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine this week, but last week, President Joe Biden announced that efforts would begin to be able to provide the vaccine to every adult that wants one by May 1.

“That doesn’t mean everyone’s going to have that shot immediately, but it means you’ll be able to get in line,” he said.

The goal, Biden said, was for families and friends to be able to gather in person by Independence Day — but much of that hinges on the massive vaccination effort and remaining vigilant so that restrictions don’t have to be reinstated.

“We don’t want to do that again,” Biden said. “We’ve made so much progress. This is not the time to let up.”

“On July 4, with your loved ones, is the goal,” he added. “But a lot can happen. Conditions can change. And scientists have made clear that things may get worse again as new variants of the virus spread.”

In his address to the nation, Biden said that the White House plans to get shots in the arms of adults at a faster pace by increasing the number of places people can get vaccinated (including delivering vaccines directly to community health centers, doubling the number of pharmacies participating in the federal program, and doubling the federally-run mass vaccination centers), and increasing the number of professionals that can administer the vaccine by deploying more than 4,000 active duty troops to support vaccination efforts and expanding the pool of qualified professionals that can administer the vaccine to include dentists, advanced and interimediate level emergency medical technicians, paramedics, midwives, optometrists, physician assistants, podiatrists, respiratory therapists, veterinarians, medical students, nursing students, and other healthcare students.

“If we all do our part, this country will be vaccinated soon, our economy will be on the mend, our kids will be back in school, and we’ll have proven once again that this country can do anything,” Biden said.

This week, Texas will receive 800,000 first doses of COVID-19 vaccine, with 656,810 doses being shipped directly to 445 providers in 178 counties. Another 200,000 first doses will be available to pharmacies and federally-qualified health centers.

Locally, hubs at Baylor will get 5,850 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, the city of Dallas will get 5,000 Moderna doses, Dallas County will get 9,000 Moderna doses, and Parkland and UT Southwestern will get 12,870 each of Pfizer.

You should also read:

  • Dallas County reported 401 additional cases of COVID-19 Friday, and 267 on Saturday. County health officials also reported another 39 deaths on Friday (including a Dallas man in his 30s who died in a local emergency room and a Dalals man in his 50s who did not have any underlying high-risk health conditions) and 24 deaths on Saturday (including a Grand Prairie man in his 30s, a Garland woman in her 40s, and a Dallas man in his 40s, all with underlying high-risk health conditions).
  • While we have done our own retrospective of the pandemic year, you really should check out Texas Standard’s oral history, The Long Haul: Texas and the Pandemic, which looks back at impact COVID-19 had on the state, through the voices of those who lived it.
  • A third stimulus check is on the way to many bank accounts. Here’s how you can track your check.

Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, deputy editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. Recently, she's taken home a few awards for her writing, including first place for her tornado coverage from the National Newspapers Association's 2020 Better Newspaper Contest, a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Education Writers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the News Leaders Association, the News Product Alliance, and the Online News Association. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at [email protected].

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