The world had some good news on December 8 when news organizations announced that a nurse administered the first COVID-19 vaccine to a patient who was not part of a clinical trial. In this case, it was a 90-year-old woman from Northern Ireland who received the Pfizer/BioNTech. An 81-year-old man named William Shakespeare from Warwickshire was soon also administered a shot. The similarity in age was not random – the U.K. opted to put the elderly at the front of the vaccine line.
Texas announces its plan
States in the U.S. will be allocated a certain number of doses and come up with their own priorities who gets the shots (each person needs two) and when. Texas will soon have 1.4 million doses, which is a start for a state with 30 million residents.
The Texas COVID-19 Vaccination Plan line starts with health care workers and then nursing home staffers, emergency medical service drivers, paramedics and home health aides. Unlike the U.K., the elderly will not be first in line here, but it appears that staff will be available to care for them if they get sick.
The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) announced plans to administer the vaccine starting on December 14 if federal approvals clear it. There will be 224,250 doses administered at 109 hospitals in 34 counties on that first week.
It is difficult to predict when elderly loved ones will get the vaccine, but hopefully, it will be soon. Staff and organizations will need to follow official protocols in rolling out the vaccine. However, it is still essential to advocate for elderly loved ones to ensure that they are not overlooked when the time comes. It may also be necessary to follow up with staff when it is time for the second dosage.