EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — As El Paso continues to see the spread of COVID-19 in the community, COVID-19 vaccinations will be crucial in combatting the disease and ending the pandemic.
City officials said that when a vaccine is available, it will be received in three phases. Supplies will be limited during the first phase and will be distributed through the federal government and the states.
In order for Texas healthcare providers — including medical doctors, doctors of osteopathic medicine, nurse practitioners/advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, certified nurse midwives and registered pharmacists — to provide vaccines, they must first register with the Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
This first step is a way to receive and provide a vaccine to the target population once they are made available. Health officials urge local healthcare providers, clinics, healthcare facilities and pharmacies to enroll and become COVID-19 vaccine providers so they can provide vaccines to the most vulnerable populations.
The detailed COVID-19 Vaccination Program is listed online at EPStrong.org under the Vaccination link.
How to Register:
In order for providers to register and become COVID-19 vaccinators, entities must register through the registration portal at EnrollTexasIZ.dshs.texas.gov. This website will enroll providers and allow them to receive and administer vaccines for the duration of the program. Only providers registered through this site are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines.
Per federal requirements, providers must agree to administer the COVID-19 vaccine regardless of a recipient’s ability to pay, provide a vaccination record to each recipient, store doses of the vaccine under the proper conditions and report the number of doses received and used.
COVID-19 providers must track their COVID-19 vaccine activities and submit that information through the DSHS online portal.
Timeline of Vaccine Availability:
The State of Texas will employ a tiered system for vaccine administration, per federal guidelines to manage the initially vaccine supplies. Dates for phased vaccine shipment to jurisdiction is not yet final but it is tentatively anticipated to begin in late fall with phases continuing into summer of 2021. The anticipated phases are as follows:
Three Phases is as follows:
Phase 1 – DSHS anticipates a limited supply of the COVID-19 vaccine. Initial efforts will be made to immunize:
- Critical Healthcare and other critical personnel
- Other essential workers
Phase 2 – There will be a larger number of vaccine doses available. The focus will be to vaccinate those critical populations who were not vaccinated during phase one as well as the at-high-risk populations.
Phase 3 – DSHS anticipates a sufficient supply of vaccines doses available to all members of the population.
The COVID-19 vaccine will initially be an adult vaccine; however, once the vaccine is approved for pediatric use more information will be provided.
The CDC continues to update states and stakeholders about its requirements for the anticipated vaccine distribution. The situation continues to evolve as COVID-19 vaccine trials for safety and efficacy with double- and single-dose continue. DSHS will provide registrants with updated information on an ongoing basis as the City learns more about the process.
For more COVID-19 information about the community’s vaccine plan as well as testing, data and prevention, visit epstrong.org.