UT-Austin will begin vaccinating people over 16 years old starting Monday, will continue to prioritize those with higher risk

Samantha Greyson

The University will administer COVID-19 vaccines to people over the age of 16 starting Monday, according to an email to the UT community.

Students, faculty and staff who have already completed the COVID-19 vaccination distribution form will receive an individual email over the next week to schedule their vaccination appointment, according to the letter. The University is asking those who have already completed the form not to fill it out again. The University is asking those who have not completed the form but would like to be vaccinated through UT to fill it out now.

“Vaccination is a safe and effective tool that provides a pathway forward to a near normal fall,” the letter said. “Although voluntary, making the decision to get vaccinated will help protect yourself, your family, and your fellow Longhorns.”

According to the letter, the University will continue to prioritize Phase 1A, 1B and 1C vaccination groups, which include health care workers, people 50 years or older and people 16 years or older with a preexisting health condition.

The University was named a vaccination hub by the state in January, meaning it receives constant supplies of the vaccine from the Texas Department of State Health Services, according to previous reporting from The Daily Texan. A UT spokesperson was unable to comment on whether the University’s vaccine allotment will increase because the number of vaccines the University has available is determined by DSHS.

The DSHS announced that all adults are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine starting March 29, in a Tuesday morning news release. 

“The Texas Department of State Health Services expects vaccine supplies to increase next week, and providers in multiple parts of the state have made great strides in vaccinating people in the current priority groups,” according to the news release. 

DSHS expects vaccine supplies to increase next week, according to the press release but has asked vaccine providers to prioritize people 80 years or older by moving them to the front of vaccine lines, whether or not they have an appointment.

“To date, Texas has administered more than 9.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, equating to more than 6 million people with at least one dose and more than 3 million fully vaccinated,” according to the news release. 

Next week, DSHS will open a website to schedule vaccines through certain public health providers, according to the news release. While online scheduling is preferred, DSHS said they are launching a toll-free number to locate vaccine providers and make appointments. 

DSHS said while most vaccines have been authorized for people 18 years or older, only the Pfizer vaccine has been authorized for people 16 years or older.