City of AustinFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Vaccs Facts is a weekly series of COVID-19 vaccine updates published by Austin Public Health.
Austin Continues Large-Scale Pilot Vaccine Distribution for Phase 1B Individuals
Published January 26, 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 is expected to present data from its clinical trials to the FDA in February for consideration of an Emergency Use Authorization.
- As part of a statewide program to pilot regional COVID-19 vaccine hubs, Austin Public Health (APH) has received 24,000 doses in the past two weeks of allocations from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
- The 24,000 vaccines, which represent less than 2% of the area population, were administered to those who met the State’s criteria for Phase 1A and 1B of vaccination.
- During the second week of the vaccine hub, APH worked with local school districts and systems to vaccinate 900 teachers who met 1A and 1B criteria starting on Jan. 18.
- The remaining 11,100 doses received last week were used to vaccinate Phase 1B individuals, who had previously pre-registered through APH. All 12,000 doses were distributed by Saturday, Jan. 23.
- Since the launch of the pre-registration system on Jan. 13, more than 180,000 people have pre-registered, with more than 77,000 people meeting the Phase 1B criteria.
- APH received a third shipment of 12,000 vaccines from Texas DSHS as part of the Week 7 allocation. APH will continue using the pre-registration system to distribute vaccine this week.
- APH also will begin administering second doses this week to people who received their first dose from APH with the initial 1,300 doses received in December.
- For people who have received their first dose through APH during the last two 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.
- There are currently more than 350 pharmacies, doctors’ offices, hospital groups, and other providers signed up to provide COVID-19 vaccines in Austin-Travis County.
- 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.
- 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. 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.
Safety & Precautions
- 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.
- 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. 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.
- 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.
- COVID‑19 vaccines do not use the live virus and cannot give you COVID‑19. The vaccine does not alter your DNA. COVID‑19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an immune response without having to experience sickness.
- The FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (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.
For additional COVID-19 vaccine information, visit www.AustinTexas.gov/COVID19-Vaccines.