UTMB received its initial shipment of vaccines in mid-December and has vaccinated thousands of its heath care workers, consistent with the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) vaccination plan. Vaccination for high-risk patients will begin soon.
Many of our patients have asked and are eager to get their COVID-19 vaccine. These vaccines are a safe and effective way to combat the pandemic, and we wanted to share the following information and updates with our patients.
As your health care professionals, we are excited to share the news that UTMB will soon start vaccinating patients at high risk of severe COVID-19 disease. We anticipate administrating vaccines to our high-risk patients starting the week of January 4, 2021.
Again, consistent with TDSHS guidelines, UTMB will contact patients with the following high-risk factors to arrange for their vaccination:
- 65 years of age and older
- 16 years of age and older with at least one chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness, such as but not limited to:
- Chronic kidney disease
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies
- Solid organ transplantation
- Obesity (body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or higher)
- Sickle cell disease
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus
Vaccinating our high-risk patients could take 12-18 weeks, based on vaccine availability. Lower-risk patients will be contacted as vaccine supplies increase in coming weeks.
We will communicate more details once they become available. In the meantime—and even after vaccination has begun—continue to protect yourself and those around you from COVID-19. Wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose. Practice social distancing. Avoid large groups of people. Wash/sanitize your hands frequently. Stay home if you are ill. And get your flu shot if you haven't done so already.