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Texas opening COVID-19 vaccine appointments to all adults

The state will open vaccinations to all adults starting March 29.

Updated at 11:13 a.m. with information about current vaccination levels in Texas.

Texas will open COVID-19 vaccination appointments to all adults next week, state officials announced Tuesday. 

While providers will continue to prioritize older adults, all adults will be eligible to receive a vaccine starting March 29, officials said.

Imelda Garcia, the state health department's associate commissioner for laboratory and infectious disease services and chair of the Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel, explained in a news release that the state should have enough vaccine supply to now open up vaccines to all adults.

“We are closing in on 10 million doses administered in Texas, and we want to keep up the momentum as the vaccine supply increases,” Garcia said. “As eligibility opens up, we are asking providers to continue to prioritize people who are the most at risk of severe disease, hospitalization and death – such as older adults.”

Providers will still be directed to immediately move anyone age 80 or older to the front of their vaccine lines, officials said.

The state will also launch a website next week to help people register for the shot through some public health providers. 

Officials say online registration will be the best option for most people, but the state will also launch a toll-free number for Texans to make an appointment. For more information, Texans should visit dshs.texas.gov/covidvaccine.

Most vaccines have received emergency approval for people age 18 and older, while the Pfizer vaccine has been granted approval for those 16 and older. 

Trials are currently underway for a pediatric version of the Moderna vaccine.

RELATED: Plano clinic prepares to enroll young children in Moderna vaccine trial

Vaccine appointments are currently open to Texans who qualify under Phase 1C, which include all adults 50 and older, those with certain medical conditions, frontline workers and teachers

So, how can Texans sign up now for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment?

There are several ways to get an appointment. 

Pharmacies across the state are currently providing the vaccine, though appointments can be hard to come by.

CVS and Walmart currently have locations across Texas administering the vaccine. To check for appointments near you, click here for CVS and here for Walmart. 

County health departments are also running vaccine hubs across the state, many of them as drive-thru locations. 

The state's Department of State Health Services has put together a page on its website with information about each of the hubs and links to sign up at each one, as well as phone numbers the public can call to make an appointment. The locations are listed alphabetically by county.

To visit the state's website to sign up at a hub online or by phone, click here.

Some hubs will place those eligible on waiting lists for an appointment, while some may accept walk-ups, according to the website.

The federal government is also operating several vaccine mega centers across the state: one in Dallas, one in Arlington and one in Houston. 

RELATED: COVID-19 vaccine wait times are becoming shorter in Denton County

Where does Texas stand when it comes to vaccinations?

As of Tuesday morning, state data showed more than 9.3 million vaccine doses have been administered across Texas, with nearly 3.2 million people fully vaccinated. 

But while millions in the state have been vaccinated, when it comes to per capita vaccine distribution, Texas has been one of the slowest states in the country to administer the vaccine.

That's according to data from the CDC, which shows Texas had a vaccination rate of 33,572 people per 100,000 as of Tuesday morning. 

That places Texas 46 out of the 50 states in terms of per capita distribution, beating out only Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia and Tennessee.

Compare that to other large states like California, Florida or New York. Each of those states is above 38,000 doses administered per 100,000 people.