Erath County: More doses than people signed up for COVID-19 vaccine

E-T staff report
Coronavirus

Erath County saw an increase of seven new COVID-19 infections since last week, according to a report released Tuesday morning by county emergency management officials.

Of the new cases, four are located in Stephenville and three are in the county.

Area residents can receive their vaccine at the county vaccination center, located at 2900 W. Washington St., Ste. 92. The vaccinations are free for everyone.

To contact the clinic for an appointment or more information, call (254) 459-5053. To register online, go to erathcounty.quickbase.com/

Once registered, an official will contact individuals about their assigned appointment date and time. No walk-ins are allowed.

The Erath County Vaccination Center reports it has vaccinated about 6,000 people since it started to receive vaccines eight weeks ago. Initially, the state was only sending around 100 doses to the county. That's grown to 1,000 first doses a week, officials said.

With the increase in the number of doses, officials say the county has more vaccines than people registered to receive a shot, adding that you do not have to be a resident of Erath County to receive a shot at the vaccination clinic.

Those now eligible to receive the vaccine include:

• Front-line health care workers

• Long-term care facility residents and staff

• Texans who are 50 years and older

• People who are at least 16 and have qualifying health conditions that put them at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19

• Teachers and child-care workers

Starting Monday, March 29, vaccinations will be open to everyone in the state ages 16 and older, state health officials announced Tuesday.

As of Sunday, March 21, 9.3 million doses have been administered — 6.3 million people have received at least one dose and 3.2 million people, or 11% of Texas’ population, are fully vaccinated, according to the Texas Tribune.

Cases in Erath County

Of the total 3,131 cases in Erath County since the beginning of the pandemic, 21 are listed as active. Of those, 3,043 are listed as recovered, and 67 deaths have been attributed to COVID-19, the report states.

According to the Texas DSHS, the last reported death in Erath County related to COVID-19 complications was on Feb. 27.

Of the total cases, 204 have been among those ages 0-12 years old; 387 cases among those 13-19 years old; and 754 cases among those 20-29 years old.

In the 30- to 39-year-old age group, there have been 394 cases; 885 in the 40-64 age group; and 499 in the 65 and older age group. For eight of the confirmed cases, the age of those affected is unknown.

Of the total cases, 1,744 are female and 1,387 are male.

The first case of COVID-19 was reported in the county on March 24, 2020, according to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Across the state

According to the Texas Tribune, everyone age 16 and older, regardless of occupation or health status, will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Texas starting March 29, state health officials said Tuesday.

The Texas Department of State Health Services is still asking providers to prioritize appointments for people who are 80 and older, and to prioritize walk-ins from anyone in that age group who shows up without an appointment. The vaccines are not limited to Texas residents, and citizenship is not a requirement for the vaccine.

“We are closing in on 10 million doses administered in Texas, and we want to keep up the momentum as the vaccine supply increases,” said Imelda Garcia, DSHS associate commissioner for laboratory and infectious disease services and the chair of the state's Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel, in the Tribune story.

As of Monday, the state has reported around 2.4 million confirmed cases in 254 counties and there were at least 3,447 hospitalized patients in Texas with confirmed coronavirus infections, the Tribune reports.

The first death linked to the coronavirus in Texas occurred March 15, 2020, in Matagorda County. As of March 22, 46,478 Texans who tested positive for the virus have died.