The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) announced this week that eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine will expand to include people age 50 and up (Phase 1C) beginning March 15. Expanding vaccinations to include those who are at least 50 years old will protect the next most vulnerable group and advance the state’s dual priorities of reducing the burden of disease on people at the greatest risk of hospitalization and death and protecting the health care system. According to the DSHS, more than 93 percent of Texas fatalities directly caused by the coronavirus have been in people age 50 and older.