Gov. Greg Abbott’s COVID-19 vaccination draws outrage from the continually outraged.
I recently noted that the Centers for Disease Control proposed guidelines prioritizing “essential workers” over the elderly, using race to justify the decision. These recommendations run counter to those issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) and scientific evidence that the pandemic would be quelled more quickly if the more vulnerable populations were protected first.
Yes, the CDC guidelines were not mandates, and states could opt to take a different approach. Texas did, selecting the priority based on reason and epidemiology.
Texas is deviating from the CDC’s recommendations on who should receive the COVID-19 vaccine next.
The CDC suggests teachers, first responders and other essential workers should be next in line.
Texas says it will concentrate on people 65 years and older, and those with certain chronic medical conditions in what’s known as Phase 1-B.
The state will concentrate vaccine distribution on the elderly and those with underlying health conditions in the next phase, which is expected to roll out in a couple of weeks.
“The focus on people who are age 65 and older or who have comorbidities will protect the most vulnerable populations,” said Imelda Garcia, chair of the state Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel and DSHS associate commissioner for laboratory and infectious diseases. “This approach ensures that Texans at the most severe risk from COVID-19 can be protected across races and ethnicities and regardless of where they work.”
The vaccine, which arrived in Texas on Dec. 14, has been available so far only to front-line health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities. There are nearly 1.9 million Texans in that group, so it will likely take a few weeks before the state transitions to the next phase, state health officials said.
Gov. Greg Abbot received the vaccination, in hopes to inspire the public to get their shots when more doses became available. This, of course, led to outrage by the continually outraged.
The Texas Medical Association applauded Abbott’s move, saying in part: “The governor is leading by example by getting the shot.”
But many online say Abbott should not have been first in line to receive the vaccine due to his insistence on keeping state businesses open throughout most of the pandemic — which is often attributed to the worsening numbers.
Just last month, Abbott said he would not authorize any more business shutdowns, saying, it’s time to “put shutdowns behind us.”
Dr. John Biggan, a data scientist at the ACH Child and Family Services and former Democratic Congressional candidate blasted Abbott on Twitter, saying in part: “Greg Abbott got the COVID vaccine today. Yesterday, he and his Republican cronies decided to disregard CDC recommendations that teachers receive the vaccine as part of Phase 1B.”
As states are the laboratories of democracy, it will be interesting to see how Texas will compare with other states who adopt the CDC guidelines and robust restrictions. I am betting that the Lone Star state will continue to be a beacon to many more blue state refugees.DONATE
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