City of AustinFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Austin-Travis County Joint Information System
Appointments are focused on vulnerable populations in Phase 1B.
Austin, Texas – Today, Austin Public Health (APH) has opened the COVID-19 online vaccine pre-registration system. This registration system was launched following the announcement of the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) pilot distribution model.
The pre-registration is only for the vaccines that APH receives, not for other vaccine providers in Austin-Travis County. Individuals who have private insurance are encouraged to call their primary care provider or pharmacy first. A map of providers is available on the DSHS website.
APH is currently vaccinating people who meet the criteria for Phase 1A or 1B, which includes frontline healthcare workers, residents and staff of long-term care facilities, and individuals who are 65 years or older.
“APH has historically served as a safety net vaccine provider for those who otherwise have no access to lifesaving vaccines,” said APH Director Stephanie Hayden. “The 12,000 doses APH received in this week’s allocation is less than 1% of the area population in Travis County and is available to all residents in Texas. It is critically important that we focus on our most vulnerable populations, including those who do not have private insurance or regular access to healthcare. We are encouraging people with private insurance to contact their primary care provider about being vaccinated.”
To pre-register, visit AustinTexas.gov/COVID19-Vaccines. Individuals will then be redirected to create an account or login to an existing account and complete an assessment. If individuals meet the criteria and appointments are still available, they will be allowed to schedule an appointment to receive a vaccine. If individuals are not eligible or appointments are full, they will be placed on a waiting list and notified in the future if and when additional vaccine becomes available to APH. Appointments are required and, to protect patient privacy, locations will only be available to those with scheduled appointments.
A phone line will also be available for those without internet or computer access. The APH Nursing Hotline is available Monday-Friday 8 am-6 pm and Saturday 9 am-1 pm at 512-972-5560. The hotline is available in multiple languages, and individuals can press 1 for English, 2 for Spanish, 3 for Vietnamese and other languages.
“The launch of our pre-registration system is the first major step toward getting the COVID-19 vaccine out into the wider community,” said Dr. Mark Escott, Interim Austin-Travis County Health Authority. “However, vaccine supply still remains incredibly limited and there is not enough to meet the community-wide demand. We continue to encourage the community to be patient as we work to distribute the vaccine in an equitable manner. Until we are able to reach herd immunity through widespread vaccinations, it is important to remember that saying home if you can, masking, distancing, and frequent hand washing remain effective means of preventing infection.”
For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine in Texas, visit dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/immunize/vaccine.aspx. For more information about the COVID-19 in Austin-Travis County, visit AustinTexas.gov/COVID19-Vaccines.