The Texas Department of State Health Services notified all vaccine providers on Wednesday that they should immediately include school and child care workers in vaccine administration.
DSHS says they received a letter on Tuesday night from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services directing states to expand eligibility to include people who work in school and child care operations.
The federal directive defined the people eligible as "those who work in pre-primary, primary, and secondary schools, as well as Head Start and Early Head Start programs (including teachers, staff, and bus drivers) and those who work as or for licensed child care providers, including center-based and family care providers."
DSHS says this does not change the other groups who are prioritized for vaccination in Texas, and providers are encouraged to continue their efforts to vaccinate older adults since the burden of COVID-19 falls most severely on people age 65 and older.
In Texas, the vaccine is available to people who meet Phase 1A and Phase 1B criteria including frontline healthcare workers, those who are 65 and older, and those 16 and older with a serious medical condition.
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden pushed states to get at least one shot into the arms of teachers by the end of March.