City of AustinFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Vaccs Facts is a weekly series of COVID-19 vaccine updates published by Austin Public Health.
Austin Expands Vaccine Distribution to Phase 1CIndividuals
Published March 23, 2021
- The Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have received an Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
- The Astra Zeneca vaccine recently released phase 3 data from its U.S. clinical trials, and is expected to apply for Emergency Use Authorization in the coming weeks.
- People currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Texas include:
- Phase 1A: Frontline healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities
- Phase 1B: People 65+ or 16+ with a medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe disease
- Phase 1C: People 50 to 64, regardless of medical conditions
- School and licensed childcare personnel
- The demand for vaccine in these eligible groups is exceeding the supply of many providers across the Austin area.
- 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 12,000 first doses per week since Jan. 11 from Texas DSHS.
- Since the launch of the pre-registration system on Jan. 13, more than 419,000 people have pre-registered, with more than 322,000 people meeting the current eligibility criteria.
- 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.
- APH releases first dose appointments weekly on Monday evenings. Should additional vaccine doses become available later in the week, APH will conduct another appointment release on Thursday evening of each week.
- APH piloted a drive-thru vaccination site on March 22, vaccinating approximately 1,500 people, and has started a Mobile Vaccination Program to serve hard-to-reach and vulnerable populations in Austin and Travis County who are homebound.
- Local pharmacies participating in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination have started to receive direct allocations from the federal government. Individuals who are interested in getting vaccinated at their local pharmacy should check the pharmacy’s website to find out if COVID-19 vaccine is available and if they are eligible for vaccination.
- A handful of other local providers receive smaller allocations each week. A list of local providers can be found at centraltxvaccs.org.
- The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine only requires one shot, while Pfizer and Moderna require a series of two doses given three (Pfizer) or four (Moderna) weeks apart. Pfizer and Moderna vaccine recipients will get a vaccination card showing which vaccine and lot number they received and when they should return for a second dose.
- APH currently receives the Moderna vaccine and is manually scheduling second doses by emailing, calling, or texting a date, time, and location.
- If you received your first dose through Austin Public Health and it has been42 or more days since your first dose and you have not received an appointment, you may walk-up to our vaccine sites and present your vaccine card to receive your second dose.
- While the second dose should be administered as close to the recommended 21- or 28-day interval as possible, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends you should not get the second dose earlier than the recommended 3- or 4-week interval, and can get it up to 42 days or 6 weeks later.
- If you are unable to get your second dose in the recommended timeframe, you do not have to start over. While missing the suggested interval delays full protection, you can still get the second dose later if you have difficulty getting it within the recommended time. You will get full protection from the vaccine 1–2 weeks after getting your second dose.
- The FDA released fact sheets on the Pfizer vaccine, Moderna vaccine, and Johnson & Johnson 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 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.
- 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.
- 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 has recently published guidance for those who are fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated people can:
- Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
- Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
- Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic
For additional COVID-19 vaccine information, visit www.AustinTexas.gov/COVID19-Vaccines.