COVID Vaccine Clinic

Student nurse Alyssa Peters fills a syringe with the vaccine during the coronavirus vaccination clinic at the New Braunfels Civic/Convention Center on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021. MIKALA COMPTON | Herald-Zeitung

With more vaccine clinics scheduled this week, Comal County's standby list remains open to all residents ages 18 and older after state officials recently expanded eligibility requirements to receive COVID-19 vaccine doses.

While state eligibility rules allow people 16 and older to be vaccinated, Comal County's clinics will only be for those over 18 because it is distributing the Moderna vaccine since the two-shot Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson single shot haven't been approved for people under the age of 18. Only the two-shot Pfizer vaccine is approved for those who are 16 and 17 years old.

Registration is available at www.co.comal.tx.us. Officials said registering online is the best option for residents because phone resources are limited, but those who do not have computer access or need assistance can call 830-620-5575.

The clinics, hosted by the county and city of New Braunfels, continue this week.

Another 500 residents received their COVID-19 vaccine in Comal County on Monday, according to county health officials, with another clinic scheduled for Tuesday.

The Texas Department of State Health Services has launched the Texas Public Health Vaccine Scheduler at getthevaccine.dshs.texas.gov, which allows people to register for a vaccine appointment from a participating public health entity and some local health departments. Already, more than 125,000 people have registered through that website.

Officials said people can continue to find additional providers through the DSHS Vaccine Information page at dshs.texas.gov/covidvaccine.

Texas has now administered more than 11.8 million doses, an increase of 1.8 million in the last week. Nearly 7.8 million people have received at least one dose, and more than 4.3 million are now fully vaccinated.

Among Texas seniors, more than two-thirds have received at least one dose, and nearly half are now fully vaccinated. More than one-third of all Texans at least 16 years old have gotten a shot, and nearly one in five are fully vaccinated.

In Comal County, 18.6% of residents are fully vaccinated, with 66,453 shots given so far, according to DSHS figures.

New cases

Comal County health officials reported 14 new COVID-19 cases and 15 recoveries on Monday, bringing the number of active cases of the virus to 170.

Eleven of the new cases were confirmed, while three were probable.

Comal County has seen 9,718 cases of the virus and since the pandemic arrived in March 2020.

Of the active cases, seven were hospitalized.

Local hospitals reported caring for 10 patients Monday, with three in intensive care and one on a ventilator. Officials said not all of those patients are county residents and not all county residents hospitalized with COVID-19 are in Comal County hospitals.

The regional hospitalization rate — the percentage of beds used by virus patients in the 22-county region that includes Comal and Guadalupe counties — stood at 3.42% on Monday.

The county's seven-day positivity rate on Thursday, which marks the percentage of tests with a positive result, stood at 2.91% for the molecular test and 1.74% for the more widespread and inexpensive antigen test.

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