Vaccine FAQs

Updated 2/25/21

Please check these FAQs regularly for updates. You can also learn more on the main APH COVID-19 Vaccine page.

On this page:

Vaccine Providers & Hubs APH Vaccine Pre-Registration
First Doses Second Doses
Safety & Effectiveness Vaccine Phases & Prioritization
Allocation Process  

Vaccine Providers & Hubs

What is a vaccine hub? 

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) launched a statewide program of regional COVID-19 vaccine hubs. Hub providers will focus on large community vaccination efforts. Austin Public Health and UT Health Austin have been identified as hub providers for our area.  

Who is Austin Public Health vaccinating through the hub? 

At this time, individuals in the Texas DSHS definition of Phase 1A and Phase 1B are eligible to be vaccinated. However, there is currently not enough vaccine supply in our area to meet the demand for everyone who falls within these categories.  

  • Phase 1A: Front-line healthcare workers and residents at long-term care facilities  
  • Phase 1B: People 65 years of age and older; people 18 years of age and older with at least one chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19  

Doses of the vaccine are very limited in the community right now and there is not enough supply to meet the demand. As doses become more widely available there will be more opportunity to get the vaccine.  

What accommodations are there at the APH vaccine hub for people with mobility issues?

When residents arrive at the vaccination clinic and they indicate that they are unable to walk, stand, or have other mobility issues, there is a designated process that is followed at each vaccination site. They are accommodated with closer parking, wheelchairs if needed, a separate queue line, vaccination stations closer to the entrance and exit, assistance from trained staff, and we can make other accommodations onsite if necessary.

What if I don't have access to transportation to get to the hub?

CapMetro is offering complimentary curb-to-curb service for eligible community members to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Call 512-369-6050 weekdays 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to request your trip at least 1 day in advance.  

When making the reservation, customers will need the following information: 

  • Pickup address 

  • Vaccine location destination address 

  • Requested appointment and return times 

  • If the customer is traveling with another person or utilizing any mobility aids. 

For more information, visit www.capmetro.org/vaccine-access.  

What if I think a vaccine offer is a scam?

While APH has not received any reports of local COVID-19 vaccine scams to date, it is important to remember that vaccination sites, including APH, will not ask for your Social Security Number, bank account, or credit card information in order to sign up or receive the COVID-19 vaccine. If you believe someone is offering a vaccine as part of a scam, you can file a Consumer Complaint with the State of Texas.

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APH Vaccine Pre-Registration

I saw that Austin Public Health was a vaccine hub provider. Where is the hub?

To protect patient privacy, locations will be available to only those with scheduled appointments.  

Austin Public Health has strategically identified vaccine hub locations that are both in the hardest-hit communities and accommodate the requirements of vaccine distribution. Those requirements include that the sites are indoors, have a large seating area to monitor individuals who have been given the vaccine, have ample parking, have connections to transit, and can be set up for dozens of stations to administer the vaccine.  

How can I sign up for a vaccine through the hub?

APH has launched a COVID-19 vaccine pre-registration system for area residents with a focus on vulnerable residents in the coming days. Additional information about pre-registering for the vaccine can be found here. PLEASE NOTE: You will need to register or sign into your account to register. 

To help keep your information secure, please create an account. Per Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements, you will need a separate email address for each person seeking a test or vaccine, including children. If you already had an account to get tested, you do not need to create a new account for vaccine.

I am having issues logging into the account I used to pre-register. What should I do? 

Individuals who are having trouble logging in should add “.aph” at the end of their full email address to see if that allows them to log in. If they cannot remember their password, they can use the “.aph” in the username/email field to re-set their password.

What if my loved ones don’t have computer/internet access, how can they sign up? 

If you cannot access the online pre-registration system, please call the APH Nurse Line at 512-972-5560. Do NOT call the Nurse Line if you have access to internet to help ensure that our call takers are able to serve those who would not otherwise be able to sign up for an appointment or pre-register.   

I pre-registered my child for the COVID-19 vaccine, but was notified they were not eligible. Why?

To date, APH has only received the Moderna vaccine, which is only approved for people who are 18 years of age and older. Some providers have received the Pfizer vaccine, which is approved for people who are 16 years of age and older. To find information for other vaccine hubs, visit Texas DSHS.

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First Doses

I've received my first vaccine from APH. Where I can find more information about my first dose?

Log in to your account and click on the "View Test Results" button to see information about your first vaccine dose.

How does APH schedule first dose appointments?

APH typically releases additional first dose appointments on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If you are currently eligible to receive a first dose but haven’t been able to get an appointment yet, we encourage you to login to the account you used to pre-register on these days. 

To make the scheduling process smoother, APH recently added a queuing system for first doses. When appointments are available for scheduling, you will be added to the queue and receive a place in line with an estimated wait time until you are to the front of the line to schedule. When it is your turn, you will have 10 minutes to click “Yes, please” to begin the process to schedule your appointment.

Does being in the first dose queue guarantee an appointment?

No, by being in line you are not guaranteed an appointment. You must complete the appointment process and receive a confirmation to guarantee your appointment. If you are unable to initially secure an appointment, we encourage you to continue checking back.

What if I’m eligible but cannot schedule a vaccine appointment through the APH vaccine hub? 

Currently APH is only receiving approximately 12,000 total vaccines per week, but more than 200,000 people who have pre-registered qualify for the vaccine through APH. We hope to have additional doses of the vaccine in the coming weeks to provide those who qualify.

How do I cancel or reschedule a vaccination appointment through APH? 

At this time, due to scarcity of available appointments, the pre-registration system can’t support changing your appointment time – if you click the button online to reschedule, your appointment will be canceled.

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Second Doses

When do I schedule my second vaccine dose?

If you received your first dose through APH, we will schedule you for your second dose; you will be contacted by phone or email. An appointment is required for second doses and walk-ups will not be accepted. While the second dose should be administered as close to the recommended 28-day interval as possible, 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.    

How do I actually schedule the second dose appointment through APH?

Once you have received your first dose through APH, your appointment status in our pre-registration system will note you as “Completed.” APH will schedule those needing second doses by giving a new time, date and location. If you cannot make it, we will persistently work to reschedule again.   

I've received my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from APH but my account is not showing any vaccination information, and I'm worried about not getting the second dose. Where can I get help?

If you have had your first dose from APH and are experiencing an issue with your account please complete this form. NOTE: We strongly suggest you upload a photo of your Vaccine card as it will expedite your request.

What if I haven't been notified about my second dose?

If you received your first dose through Austin Public Health and it has been 42 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. This process will be temporary as we continue to work through the backlog of second dose appointments from last week's weather.

If it has been less than 42 days since your first dose, please be patient as we work through the backlog. Continue to check your phone and email for second dose appointment details. Please do not schedule a first dose appointment to get a second dose.

What should I do while I wait for my second dose appointment?

We appreciate the community’s patience while we wait for additional second doses and understand the frustration and anxiety this may be causing. While you are waiting for your second dose appointment, you can do the following: 

  1.   Make sure you are registered in the online portal.  

  1. Look out for emails (check spam folders), texts, and/or phone calls from APH. 

Will I be guaranteed a second dose appointment if I received my first dose from APH?

Yes, APH is ordering second doses for everyone who received first dose vaccines through us. Second dose appointments will be available separately from those who are seeking first dose appointments.  

What if I didn’t receive my first dose through APH? 

If you received your first dose from someone other than APH, please contact that provider about receiving your second dose. Providers should be ordering second doses from Texas DSHS based on who they provided first doses to.

If you have checked with your first provider and for some reason cannot receive you first dose through them, please make sure you get your second dose from the same manufacturer as the first (i.e. Pfizer or Moderna). APH only receives the Moderna vaccine, but is currently prioritizing second doses for those who received first doses through they as they have not been allocated an excess of second doses. You can stay up-to-date on the APH second dose processes at AustinTexas.gov/COVID19-Vaccines should the availability arise. In the meantime, please continue to reach out to your first dose provider about second doses.

Does my second dose have to be from the same manufacturer as my first dose?

Yes, your first and second dose should be from the same manufacturer. The safety and effectiveness of a mixed-product series have not been evaluated. To ensure you receive the proper second dose, make sure you retain your COVID-19 vaccination record card and bring it to your second dose appointment. 

If I'm unable to get the second dose within the recommended time-frame, do I have to start all over? 

No, you do not have to start all over. Missing the suggested interval delays full protection. But 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 usually 1–2 weeks after getting your second dose. 

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 CDC.  

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Safety & Effectiveness

Why should I take the COVID-19 vaccine? 

Getting this vaccine once it is available to you represents one step that you can take to return to normalcy. Even with vaccines available, people need to take additional COVID-19 precautions including wearing a mask, watching your distance, and washing your hands often. 

How do I know whether the COVID-19 vaccine is safe? 

Safety is a top priority while federal partners work to make COVID-19 vaccines available. The new COVID-19 vaccines have been evaluated in tens of thousands of volunteers during clinical trials. The vaccines are only authorized for use if they are found to be safe. 

Even though they found no safety issues during the clinical trials, CDC and other federal partners will continue to monitor the new vaccines. They watch out for serious side effects (or “adverse events”) using vaccine safety monitoring systems, like the V-SAFE After Vaccination Health Checker app

Do I need to get vaccinated if I’ve already recovered from COVID-19? 

Yes. Immunity from the COVID-19 vaccine may last longer than the natural immunity you get if you’ve already had COVID-19. People who currently have COVID-19 should not be vaccinated while being sick and if you have had COVID-19 in the past 60 days you will not immediately be eligible to receive the vaccine through APH.  

How effective will the vaccine be against COVID-19? 

Different vaccines are proving to have different efficacy rates. Current authorized vaccines report 90-95% effectiveness 1–2 weeks after receiving the final dose.  

What are the side effects of the vaccine?

Common side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine include injection site pain or swelling, and fever, chills, tiredness, and headache. These side effects are normal and show that the vaccine is working. They will typically go away within a few days.

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. If you get a COVID-19 vaccine and you think you might be having a severe allergic reaction after leaving the vaccination site, seek immediate medical attention.

If I have side effects from the Moderna vaccine given to me by APH what should I do?

If you experience a severe allergic reaction, immediately call 9-1-1, or go to the nearest hospital.

We encourage you to report side effects through the V-Safe program.
 
You can also report vaccine side effects to FDA/CDC Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). The VAERS toll-free number is 1-800-822-7967 or report vaccine side effects to the FDA/CDC online here. Please include “Moderna COVID 19 Vaccine EUA” in the first line of box #18 of the report form. In addition, you can report side effects to ModernaTX, Inc. at 1-866-MODERNA (1-866-663-3762).

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Vaccine Phases & Prioritization

What Phase of vaccine distribution are we in? 

We are in Phase 1A and Phase 1B on vaccine distribution, which includes frontline healthcare workers and residents at long-term care facilities (Phase 1A) plus people over 65 or over 16 with a chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 (Phase 1B). 

Based on current estimates for Austin-Travis County, there are ~85,000 people who meet the Phase 1A definition and ~550,000 people who meet the Phase 1B definition. At this time, our area has not been allocated enough vaccine to cover all individuals who are currently eligible and we appreciate everyone’s continued patience. 

When will the vaccine be available to the general public?    

There are limited doses available to people who meet the Phase 1B criteria, which includes people in the general public who are at higher risk for severe disease.  However, we anticipate that over the next two to three months vaccine supply will increase, allowing providers to open vaccine up to more people within the general public. We are excited that so many people want to take the COVID vaccine when it’s available to them, and if you do receive the opportunity to get vaccinated in the coming days, we encourage you to do so.

How did Texas DSHS decide who to vaccinate first? 

The Commissioner of Health appointed an Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel (EVAP) to make recommendations on vaccine allocation decisions. This includes identifying groups that should be vaccinated first. Texas DSHS published Vaccine Allocation Guiding Principles that provide the foundation for the Texas vaccine allocation process. 

Austin Public Health, the area hospital systems, and community partners have also established a coalition to plan for COVID-19 vaccine distribution within Austin and Travis County. The coalition is developing strategies to reach the desired level of COVID-19 vaccination coverage through a phased approach.  

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Allocation Process

Who decides how many vaccines Austin Public Health gets? 

Texas DSHS determines the weekly allocation of vaccine among registered providers. Austin Public Health is one of more than 350 providers in Austin-Travis County. This map shows COVID-19 vaccine providers that have received shipments of vaccine and includes information submitted by providers when they enrolled. 

How are second doses allocated?

Providers no longer receive automatic second dose allocations from Texas DSHS. As of January 18, second doses are ordered by providers 7-14 days after receipt of the first dose shipment. APH is ensuring that our second doses are ordered on a timely basis. 

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