Who gets the vaccine first? Here’s how Texas defines ‘healthcare workers’

Vaccine distribution plan in Texas
Vaccine distribution plan in Texas

HOUSTON – Healthcare workers, who work directly with patients who are positive or at high risk for COVID-19, will be first in line for approved COVID-19 vaccinations in Texas, part of Phase 1A of the state’s distribution plan, the governor announced on Monday.

That includes: “Physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists and other support staff (custodial staff, etc.)” and “[a]dditional clinical staff providing supporting laboratory, pharmacy, diagnostic and/or rehabilitation services.”

Next in line: Long-term care staff working directly with vulnerable residents.

That includes: “Direct care providers at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and state-supported living centers” and “physicians, nurses, personal care assistants, custodial, and food service staff.”

They are followed by EMS providers “who engage in 911 emergency services like pre-hospital care and transport” and “Home health care workers, including hospice care, who directly interface with vulnerable and high-risk patients.”

The “Second Tier” of Phase 1A begins with staff in outpatient care offices who interact with symptomatic patients.

That includes: “Physicians, nurses, and other support staff (custodial staff, etc.),” “clinical staff providing diagnostic, laboratory, and/or rehabilitation services” and “non 911 transport for routine care.”

Next in line: “Direct care staff in freestanding emergency medical care facilities and urgent care clinics,” followed by “community pharmacy staff who may provide direct services to clients, including vaccination or testing for individuals who may have COVID.”

Public health and emergency response staff directly involved in the administration of COVID testing and vaccinations come next, followed by “Last responders” who provide mortuary or death services to decedents with COVID-19.

That includes: “Embalmers and funeral home workers who have direct contact with decedents” and “[m]edical examiners and other medical certifiers who have direct contact with decedents

Last in line in the Second Tier of Phase 1A are: “School nurses who provide health care to students and teachers.”

You can read the announcement and definitions here:


About the Author:

Emmy and Edward R. Murrow-award winning reporter. Believer, father of five, Ironman finisher. Yo hablo Español.