Vaccine Facts from Austin Public Health

Operational Updates : January 12, 2021

  • The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines have received an Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 
  • As part of a statewide program to pilot regional COVID-19 vaccine hubs, Austin Public Health (APH) is slated to receive 12,000 doses in Week 5 allocation from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). 
  • The 12,000 vaccines, which represent less than 1% of the area population, will be administered to those who meet the State’s criteria for Phase 1A and 1B of vaccination. 
  • APH will administer the vaccines through a closed POD to people in Phase 1A. Later in the week, APH will be launching a COVID-19 vaccine registration system for area residents with a focus on vulnerable residents. 
  • There are more than 350 pharmacies, doctors’ offices, hospital groups, and other providers signed up to provide COVID-19 vaccines in Austin-Travis County. 
  • At this time, it is important to remember that not everyone who fits the DSHS and APH criteria will be able to get the vaccine through this first large allocation from DSHS. If you can get a vaccine through your healthcare provider, a pharmacy, or another provider please help us save this limited allocation for our most vulnerable populations. 
  • APH does not oversee other providers and their individual distribution plans. However, APH is working across the healthcare system and the vaccine coalition to set guidelines that support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and DSHS framework for distribution. 
  • This is the final week that DSHS is required to reserve doses for the federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program, freeing up more vaccine for use in other settings in the future.  
  • Some providers have begun vaccinating individuals in Phase 1B, which includes those over the age of 65 and people with medical conditions that put them at increase risk for severe disease from COVID-19. However, APH understands from conversations with other providers that the demand for vaccine in Phase 1B is exceeding the supply of many providers across the Austin area, who are still focused on Phase 1A. 
  • As a reminder, the ability to respond to the current surge in COVID-19 will determine our ability to distribute vaccine. The same resources planning vaccine distribution are also managing testing sites and caring for patients during this record-breaking surge. We need to help our public health and healthcare workers by flattening the curve.  

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