Texas Governor Greg Abbott is reported mulling lifting the statewide COVID-19 restrictions such as masking, among others.
Breitbart said that the governor revealed he is considering stopping the coronavirus mask mandate and other restrictions, especially those imposed on businesses, during a news conference held in Corpus Christi, Texas last Thursday.
The governor was asked by one of the reporters present on when he intends to end the statewide mandate of wearing masks imposed last July, to which he replied that it was a "great question."
"We're working right now on evaluating when we're gonna be able to remove all statewide orders, and we will be making announcements about that pretty soon," Abbott responded.
According to Breitbart, the other statewide mandates included business restrictions imposed last fall for hospital regions where COVID-19 patients exceed 15% of the hospital capacity for seven days.
The governor, in the same press conference, also announced that they will be deploying more than 1,100 Texas National Guardsmen who will visit homebound seniors to get them vaccinated starting March 1. These pertain to seniors aged 65 and older who reside in isolated and rural areas of Texas.
"The good news is there's going to be a record amount of vaccines available across Texas this week with increasing numbers going forward, " Abbott announced. "We're going to have the capability to apply vaccines very, very quickly for our seniors as well as additional populations, so that we increasingly, week by week, will be increasing the immunity that Texans have."
Breitbart added that more than nine million Texans are eligible for the vaccine, which is scheduled to be given next to teachers and other essential workers once all the senior citizens aged 65 up are accomplished. Anyone with "pre-existing medical condition that puts them at higher risk for contracting a severe form of the virus" are also on the Texas Department of State Health Services' priority list for the vaccines.
Deployment of the National Guards, Breitbart said, aims to expand the mobile vaccination program of the Texas Division Emergency Management. The National Guards are segregated in teams who will be working with other organizations that will identify seniors who "do not have access to vaccination centers, clinics, and doctor's offices."
As of date, 4.6 million state residents of the 29 million population of Texas have been administered the vaccine with 40% of the 65-and-over population vaccinated and 1.5 million fully inoculated, Breitbart reported. Texas officials are aiming to administer 50% to the seniors by end of March.
The Texas Tribune said that's a total of 5.1% of Texans fully vaccinated as of February 23 and that experts say Texas is far from reaching herd immunity through vaccination.
"Hitting the 70% to 80% level that many estimate is needed would mean vaccinating some 22 million people, or nearly 100% of adults in the state, according to census numbers. The vaccines are currently not approved for children under 16, who make up about 23% of the population," The Texas Tribune highlighted in its report, adding that scientists do not yet know how well the vaccines actually prevent the virus from spreading. Preliminary research shows it does to some extent.