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 January 5, 2021
- The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines have received an Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
- The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) received 224,250 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine during Week 1 allocation, 620,400 doses in Week 2 allocation, and 380,000 doses in Week 3 allocation. The Austin area has been slated to receive 59,825 doses during the three weeks of allocation.
- There are more than 300 pharmacies, doctors’ offices, hospital groups, and other providers signed up to provide COVID-19 vaccines in Austin-Travis County.
- DSHS published a FAQ on the vaccine distribution and allocation process on Dec. 31.
- 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 distributionAustin Public Health (APH) received 1,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine on Monday, Dec. 28 and 300 doses on Dec. 29.
- APH is operating 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. As of Dec. 31, 740 doses had been distributed with the remainder being distributed this week.
- The Austin Public Safety Wellness Center began to distribute its 1,300 doses of the Moderna vaccine for local public safety employees on Monday, Dec. 28. As of Dec. 31, all 1,300 doses had been distributed.
- The federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program began in Texas last week. Pharmacy staff will be vaccinating long-term care residents and staff on-site. An additional 121,875 doses of the Pfizer vaccine went toward this program in the Week 3 allocation.
- 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.
- Last week, DSHS released a statement encouraging vaccine providers to begin vaccinating individuals who fall within Phase 1B, which includes those over the age of 65 and people with medical conditions that put them at increased risk for severe disease from COVID-19.
- 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.
- Individuals wishing to get the COVID-19 vaccine who are in Phase 1A or Phase 1B should contact the provider they normally receive their vaccines, like their flu shot, from to learn about their process. However, those in Phase 1B should be aware that they may not be able to receive the vaccine until additional supply is available in our community.
- APH will not serve as the primary vaccine provider for Austin-Travis County residents, rather, APH will serve as an informational hub and safety net for those without insurance. If more vaccine is provided to APH, we will open large sites in Austin and Travis county for the general public to receive vaccine
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.