City of AustinFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CDC expands booster shot and third dose eligibility, shortens timeline between shots
AUSTIN, Texas – Austin Public Health (APH) is following new COVID-19 vaccination recommendations recently approved to broaden protections amidst a nationwide omicron outbreak.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updates include:
- Expanded Pfizer COVID-19 booster dose eligibility for everyone 12 and older.
- Moderately or severely immunocompromised 5–11-year-olds may get an additional primary dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine 28 days after their second shot.
- The interval between initial doses and a booster is shortened from 6 months to 5 months for people who received the Pfizer vaccine.
Right now, more than 70 percent of those eligible in Travis County are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and more than 81 percent have at least one dose. Booster doses are strongly encouraged as they provide additional protection from the virus and its variants. This announcement of expanded eligibility comes at a critical time as students return to school after winter break. Many school districts offer vaccination clinics. In addition, APH offers free vaccines for everyone 5 and older with or without appointments at three sites.
“Today we elevated our community’s risk level to its highest stage. Omicron is spreading throughout our community faster than any variant that’s come before it,” said Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County Health Authority. “The places where you go for health care, to eat and to buy goods and services will all be short-staffed. We must act now to protect our way of life.”
COVID-19 Vaccine Resources
Austin Public Health is one of many COVID-19 vaccination providers and strives to make vaccines accessible to those without insurance or access to private clinics and pharmacies. Vaccines at APH clinics are free and require neither identification nor insurance. Residents can locate providers in their area using Vaccines.gov (Vacunas.gov in Spanish) or they can text their zip code to 438829 (822862 in Spanish) to find a nearby clinic.
To date, a total of 503,900 cumulative vaccines have been administered by APH and CommUnity Care.
For COVID-19 information and updates, visit www.AustinTexas.gov/COVID19.