RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (KVEO) — Thirteen Texas congressmen issued a letter to Governor Greg Abbott requesting that he prioritizes low-income individuals to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
In the letter, the legislatures contest that low-income families have had a disproportionate impact from the COVID-19 pandemic.
They outlined a section of Abbott’s distribution plan which aims at “protecting vulnerable populations who are at greater risk of severe disease or death” and request that he should add specificity to this by including an income range to prioritize low-income individuals.
According to the congressmen, the highest income for a low-income individual is $19,140. For a family of two, the low-income threshold is $25,860. For a family of three, the low-income threshold is $32,580. For a family of four, the income threshold is $39,300.
Households who earn at or below these ranges are at greater risk of suffering from COVID-19, according to the letter.
The letter references studies by the World Health Organization that state low-income individuals are more susceptible to diseases due to a lack of access to high-nutrient foods.
Additionally, the letter states that low-income individuals are hurt harder economically by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the letter, 46 percent of low-income individuals have had trouble paying their bills during the pandemic. This is a much larger number than the 20 percent of middle class individuals who have seen the same problems.
Due to these factors, the representatives feel that low-income individuals should be prioritized in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
Representatives Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Filemon Vela (TX-34), Eddie B. Johnson (TX-30), Lloyd Doggett (TX-35), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Marc Veasey (TX-33), Colin Allred (TX-32), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Lizzie Fletcher (TX-7), Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), and Al Green (TX-9) contributed to the letter presented to the governor.