Galveston County is making progress distributing COVID-19 vaccines to its front-line and high-risk populations after the establishment of two vaccination hubs.
As of 4 p.m. Feb. 4, 9,100 of the approximately 257,000 county residents age 16 and up have been fully vaccinated, according to a Texas Department of State Health Services tracker. Nearly 32,000 have received one vaccine dose.
In accordance with DSHS guidance, Phase 1A and 1B individuals—front-line health care workers and those who are more likely to become very sick or die if infected with COVID-19, respectively—are the only people currently eligible for the vaccine. Individuals in 1A and 1B can receive a vaccine at any hub regardless of where they live, per the DSHS.
The county’s estimated front-line and vulnerable population across all 1A and 1B groups, according to the tracker, is about 153,000. This means approximately 6% of the county’s 1A and 1B individuals have been fully vaccinated at a Galveston County site.
The Galveston County Health Department opened a waitlist Jan. 27, where anyone interested in receiving the vaccine can complete a questionnaire and join the queue. Signing up on the waitlist is not the same as scheduling an appointment; it means registrants will be contacted once they qualify for a vaccine based on age and health status.
During a virtual press event Feb. 4, DSHS officials could not say when exactly vaccine rollout would include a group beyond Phase 1, which includes phases 1A and 1B and a group tentatively referred to as Phase 1C. Officials did not provide an answer as to who would be included in Phase 1C.
About one-third of Texans said they are unlikely to get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to research findings released this week by the University of Houston’s Hobby School of Public Affairs.
While the number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations continues to increase in Galveston County, fewer new cases and resident deaths are being added to the total. Click here for more coronavirus case count updates.
Brian Rash and Hunter Marrow contributed to this report.