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What 'Other' Conditions Qualify Someone To Be Included In Phase 1B Of Texas' Vaccine Distribution?

UT-Austin nursing student Paige Holloway receives the COVID-19 vaccine Pfizer BioNTech during injections to healthcare workers at Dell Medical School on Dec. 15, 2020. (Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT News)
Gabriel C. Pérez
UT Austin nursing student Paige Holloway is vaccinated against COVID-19 at Dell Medical School last month.

QUESTION: The 1B underlying conditions include like ten enumerated conditions in the HHSC documentation but also says the conditions are not limited to that list - how do you access the complete list or is it just "pharmacist's discretion"?
— Jessy

ANSWER: The state does list about a dozen underlying conditions that qualify someone under phase 1B. Those are:

  • cancer
  • chronic kidney disease
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies
  • solid organ transplantation
  • obesity and severe obesity (body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or higher)
  • pregnancy
  • sickle cell disease
  • type 2 diabetes mellitus

However, as Jessy points out, the guidance says 1B is “not limited to” those conditions.

The state left the list open-ended on purpose. For instance, people with type 1 diabetes may also qualify. Providers can use their judgment to decide whether someone is at higher risk of complications from COVID-19.

Matt Largey is the Projects Editor at KUT. That means doing a little bit of everything: editing reporters, producing podcasts, reporting, training, producing live events and always being on the lookout for things that make his ears perk up. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @mattlargey.
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