City of AustinFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Vaccs Facts is a weekly series of COVID-19 vaccine updates published by Austin Public Health.
Austin Remains in Phase 1A of Vaccine Distribution
Published December 29, 2020
- The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine received an Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday, Dec. 18.
- The Pfizer vaccine received an Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA on Friday, Dec. 11.
- The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) received 224,250 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine during Week 1 allocation, with 13,650 doses slated for the Austin area.
- During Week 2 allocation, Texas DSHS received 620,400 doses of vaccine distributed to more than 1,100 providers across the State of Texas. Of these doses, the Austin area was slated to receive 36,625 vaccine doses.
- Austin Public Health (APH) received 1,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine on Monday, Dec. 28 and 300 doses on Dec. 29 and will operate a closed vaccine clinic for Phase 1A populations, specifically APH direct health care staff, direct health care COVID-19 response staff, Travis County Jail direct health care clinical staff, long-term care staff and residents that are not enrolled with a vaccine provider, school nurses that are not enrolled with another vaccine provider, and other frontline healthcare staff.
- The Austin Public Safety Wellness Center began to distribute its1,300 doses of the Moderna vaccine for Austin and Travis County EMTs and Paramedics on Monday, Dec. 28. As of Dec. 28, 62% of EMS medics who wanted to be vaccinated have received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
- The federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program will begin in Texas this week. Pharmacy staff will be vaccinating long-term care residents and staff on-site.
- Initial doses of vaccine in Phase 1A are being allocated for frontline healthcare workers and long-term care facility staff and residents, based on the COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Guiding Principles from Texas DSHS. Texas DSHS has also released information on the Phase 1B Vaccine Priorities, which prioritizes people who are at the greatest risk of severe disease and death from COVID-19 for the next phase of vaccination -- people over 65 years of age and those with medical conditions that put them at greater risk for severe disease and death.
- There are more than 300 pharmacies, doctors’ offices, hospital groups, and other providers signed up to provide COVID-19 vaccines in Austin-Travis County.
- APH will not serve as the primary vaccine provider for Austin-Travis County residents, rather, APH will service as an informational hub and safety net for those without insurance.
- Individuals curious about where they can receive their vaccine should check with their primary care provider to see if they plan to be a vaccine provider. Each provider will likely have their own sign-up system, though they have all been trained on providing the vaccine and the allocation order by Texas DSHS.
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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (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.
- The FDA and the 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.