City of AustinFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Vaccs Facts is a weekly series of COVID-19 vaccine updates published by Austin Public Health.
Austin Continues Vaccine Distribution for Phase 1B Individuals
Published February 9, 2021
- The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines have received an Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
- The vaccine being developed by Johnson & Johnson will present data from its clinical trials to the FDA on Feb. 26 for consideration of an Emergency Use Authorization.
- APH released a COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Dashboard, which includes the total of APH-administered doses organized by priority age group, zip code, race/ethnicity, and the estimated 2019 Travis County population with the percentage of those 65 years of age and older for context.
- As part of a statewide program to pilot regional COVID-19 vaccine hubs, Austin Public Health (APH) has received 48,000 doses in the past four weeks of allocations from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
- The 48,000 vaccines, which represent less than 4% of the area population, were administered to those who met the State’s criteria for Phase 1A and 1B of vaccination.
- Since the launch of the pre-registration system on Jan. 13, more than 500,000 people have created accounts, with more than 180,000 people meeting the Phase 1A or 1B eligibility criteria.
- APH is slated to receive a fifth shipment of 12,000 vaccines from Texas DSHS as part of the Week 9 allocation. APH will continue using the pre-registration system to distribute vaccine this week.
- APH is one of two local vaccine hubs. The goal of these hubs is to provide more people the vaccine and a simpler way to sign up for an appointment, so they don’t have to call a long list of providers every week looking for vaccine.
- A handful of other local providers receive smaller allocations each week. 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.
- The demand for vaccine in Phase 1A and 1B is exceeding the supply of many providers across the Austin area. We continue to ask for the community’s patience as vaccine availability ramps up in the coming weeks and months.
- 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.
- The COVID-19 vaccine is given as an injection into the muscle in a series of two doses given three (Pfizer) or four (Moderna) weeks apart. Vaccine recipients will get a vaccination card showing which vaccine and lot number they received and when they should return for a second dose.
- For people who have received their first dose through APH during the last three weeks of the vaccination hub, APH will contact you about scheduling your second dose the same way you received your appointment confirmation for your first dose.
- DSHS announced on Friday that people should be able to return to the same provider to receive their second dose within six weeks of getting the first. APH will schedule second doses once the vaccine has been received and walk-ups are not accepted.
- Second doses cannot be taken before the three- or four-week period, but they can be taken after. Individuals will not need to have a follow-up appointment exactly 21 or 28 days after their first appointment in order for the vaccine to be effective.
- Studies of both vaccines indicate that immunity following the first dose is approximately 50% at one week following the vaccine. It is important to note that in the Moderna trial, individuals who only received one dose were followed for an average of 28 days after the first dose. The vaccine efficacy for the single-dose, when evaluated >14 days after the first dose, was 92.1%. While this arm of the study was not randomized, it does support ongoing improvements in the effectiveness of the vaccine following a single dose and suggests safety in delaying the second dose as indicated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- The FDA released fact sheets on the Pfizer vaccine and Moderna vaccine for recipients and caregivers that includes information on vaccine ingredients and side effects.
- While the COVID-19 vaccine may cause side effects such as fatigue, headache, fever, chills, nausea, muscle pain, and joint pain, these side effects show that the vaccine is working.
- Vaccine recipients should be monitored for at least 15 minutes for a more serious allergic reaction. People who have a history of allergic reactions should be monitored for 30 minutes.
- The FDA and CDC will continue to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines to make sure even very rare side effects are identified. V-SAFE is a new smartphone-based, after-vaccination health checker for people who receive COVID-19 vaccines.
- COVID19 vaccines do not use the live virus and cannot give you COVID19. The vaccine does not alter your DNA. COVID19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an immune response without having to experience sickness.
- Even with limited vaccines available in our community, people need to continue to take additional COVID-19 prevention measures including: wearing a mask, social distancing, washing your hands often, covering coughs and sneezes, cleaning frequently touched surfaces, and staying home if you’re sick.
- The CDC recommends that the vaccine be offered to people regardless of whether they have a history of COVID-19 infection.
- It is not yet clear from the vaccine trials whether individuals who receive the vaccine can still transmit COVID-19 to others. It is therefore very important that even those vaccinated take the same precautions as before to ensure that they do not inadvertently spread the virus as a carrier.
For additional COVID-19 vaccine information, visit www.AustinTexas.gov/COVID19-Vaccines.