El Pasoans over 75 receive Covid-19 vaccine at UMC West Clinic; health department says more coming soon

EL PASO, Texas – The University Medical Center West Clinic became the first El Paso facility to administer Covid-19 vaccinations to high-risk members of the public on Wednesday.

The clinic provided vaccinations for those 75 and over until 17 at 6600 N. Desert Boulevard in El Paso.

UMC officials along with El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego confirmed to ABC-7 that the vaccinations, which had not been previously announced, took place.

Earlier Wednesday, the El Paso Department of Public Health announced that it would soon begin Covid-19 vaccinations for El Pasoans who are 65 years and older and those who are at least 16 years old with certain chronic medical conditions.

The plans are in line with guidance from the Texas Department of State Health Services, which was unveiled earlier this week with the goal of “protecting the most vulnerable populations.”

“Because Phase 1B delivers the vaccine to high-risk individuals regardless of their work sector or status, it will provide protection to a number of critical populations at increased risk of getting Covid-19,” said El Paso Health Department Director Angela Mora.

The vaccine, which first arrived in El Paso on December 14 until Wednesday, had so far only been administered to frontline health personnel.

In a statement, El Paso health officials said this “next Covid-19 priority group will begin receiving the vaccine within the next few weeks,” but provided no further details on the availability timeline.

Qualifying underlying health conditions for the next phase of the vaccine will include, but are not limited to:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Heart disease, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathy
  • Solid organ transplantation
  • Obesity and severe obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Sick cell disease
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

Officials said they would advise El Pasoans when the vaccine is available in the next phase and at that time provide information on how to schedule vaccination appointments at EPStrong.org.