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The original item was published from 1/4/2021 4:37:00 PM to 1/18/2021 6:05:04 PM.

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Posted on: January 4, 2021

[ARCHIVED] “COVID-19 Vaccine Response and Coordination Update”

COVID-19 Vaccine Response and Coordination Update

“COVID-19 Vaccine Response and Coordination Update”

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) oversees rural jurisdictions such as Ellis County in public health planning and coordination. DSHS is broken out into several regions across the State of Texas. Ellis County currently falls under Public Health Region 2/3 consisting of 49 counties. More information regarding Public Health Regions can be found here: .

Who is eligible for a vaccine?


At this time DSHS has communicated to local officials they currently do not have a public vaccination distribution plan; meaning there is currently not a public COVID-19 registration process available. The current mechanism for vaccine distribution is for Pharmacies, Doctors, Long Term Care Facilities, and First Responders.


DSHS Vaccine Allocation Guiding Principles Texas will allocate COVID-19 vaccines that are in limited supply based on:

  • Protecting health care workers who fill a critical role in caring for and preserving the lives of COVID-19 patients and maintaining the health care infrastructure for all who need it.

  • Protecting front-line workers who are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the nature of their work providing critical services and preserving the economy.

  • Protecting vulnerable populations who are at greater risk of severe disease and death if they contract COVID-19.


Vaccine supply remains limited, but more vaccine will be delivered to providers each week. Additional eligible recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine, depending on availability and the vaccine provider 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:

o   Cancer

o   Chronic kidney disease

o   COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)

o   Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies

o   Solid organ transplantation

o   Obesity and severe obesity (body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or higher)

o   Pregnancy

o   Sickle cell disease

o   Type 2 diabetes mellitus

What entities have obtained vaccines in Ellis County?


  • Ellis County currently has 37 providers that have enrolled.

  • Out of the 37, 17 have been approved by DSHS to receive vaccinations. The other remaining 20 are still in progress.

  • Ellis County providers have received limited shipments of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccinations, not Pfizer due to logistics of the ultra-cold storage.


As of today, DSHS has allotted 1,600 to Ellis County to the following entities:

Ellis County entities can become distributors of the COVID-19 vaccination. To enroll with DSHS to become a vaccine provider. Once approved by DSHS, the provider will be allotted a limited amount of vaccinations to be distributed to those that fall within the category eligible to receive vaccinations. Those seeking to receive vaccinations will need to coordinate with their local doctor or pharmacy.

Texas Department of State Health Services - COVID 19 Vaccination Distribution Phases:

  • Phase 1 (Late November 2020 - December 2020): Limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine doses available.

    • McKesson (the logistic provider) will direct ship vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna) to registered providers serving healthcare workers, critical infrastructure/essential workers, and other prioritized populations based upon the DSHS Commissioner's approval in accordance with CDC and ACIP recommendations.

    • Occupational healthcare settings, existing vaccinators serving closed settings will be the primary administrators of vaccines.

    • Some large chains enrolled directly by CDC to serve some targeted populations (long-term care facilities).

    • Continue ongoing provider recruitment and registration to ensure access to vaccination.

  • Phase 2 (January 2021-July 2021): Increased number of vaccine doses available.

    • McKesson will continue to distribute vaccine and ancillary supplies directly to providers.

    • Emphasis on ensuring access to vaccine for members of Phase 1 critical populations who were not yet vaccinated as well as for the general population; expand provider network.

    • Texas will use specialized vaccine teams, as needed, to vaccinate identified critical groups lacking access to the vaccine (e.g., Long-term care facilities, rural communities, etc).

  • Phase 3 (July 2021 -October 2021): Sufficient supply of vaccine dose for entire population.

    • DSHS will focus on ensuring equitable vaccination access across the entire population. Monitor vaccine uptake and coverage; reassess strategy to increase uptake in populations or communities with low coverage.

    • May consider extending the use of vaccine teams depending on the uptake and coverage received so far, especially to ensure second doses are administered from the end of Phase 2.

  • Phase 4 (October 2021 and forward) Sufficient supply of vaccine with a decreased need due to most of the population being vaccinated previously.

    • May include boosters or annual vaccines if required.

Vaccine availability open throughout private providers. Population able to visit provider of choice.


Find out more:


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