Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Updated 04/05/21

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

Where can I get vaccinated?

Austin Public Health (APH) is one of two vaccine hub providers in Travis County, but there are additional smaller providers at doctor’s offices and pharmacies. Visit VaccineFinder.org to locate additional providers in your area with supply of COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more about vaccine pre-registration through APH here.

Who is APH currently vaccinating? 

All adults are currently eligible to be vaccinated in the state of Texas, and can pre-register through APH. While supply is limited, APH is continuing to prioritize appointments by age and risk for severe disease. As of April 5, APH is allowing anyone who is 1A/1B/1C, a childcare provider or educator, and all individuals 40+ to schedule a vaccine appointment. Learn more about APH appointment scheduling here.

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

How can I sign up for a vaccine through APH?

APH has launched a COVID-19 vaccine pre-registration system for area residents with a focus on vulnerable residents. Additional information about pre-registering for the vaccine can be found here.  

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.

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 311 or 512-974-2000. Call takers can assist with technology issues, account creation, and pre-registration. For additional assistance, they will take your name and number and provide to APH for a call back.   

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, VaccineFinder.org.

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Technology Assistance

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.

If you are having other technology issues on the pre-registration portal, please use this form for technical assistance with the vaccine pre-registration portal

How do I update my account to show that I am in that group that is now qualified to receive the vaccine as a school or child care worker?

If you work at a school or work as/for a certified child care provider, have already pre-registered for vaccine through APH and were not eligible to receive a vaccine at the time you pre-registered, please complete this COVID-19 Vaccination Account Update Help Form.

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 to correct an error in your APH digital vaccination record. We strongly suggest you upload a photo of your Vaccine card as it will expedite your request.

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Site Accommodations

What accommodations are there at the APH vaccine sites 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 about on-site interpretation services?

Language Interpretation services will be provided at no cost to anyone in need of the service. When you arrive on site, please report your needs to a representative. 

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

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.  

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First Doses

How does APH schedule first dose appointments?

APH releases first dose appointments on Monday evenings. Should additional vaccines become available later in the week, APH will release appointments on Thursday evenings. 

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.

TIPS:

  • When it is your turn, it may take you to the log in screen. If that happens, please log back in and continue to schedule. You have not lost your spot.
  • If you get stuck clicking "Next" this means too many people are selecting that timeslot. Please click the home icon in the upper left corner and click "Schedule, Reschedule, Cancel a FIRST Dose Vaccine" to select a new timeslot. Do NOT click the back button in your browser.
  • Make sure you are scheduling a COVID19 vaccine and not a COVID-19 test. Testing sites do not have the vaccine.
  • Please enable all cookies when in the queue. This will help hold your place in line if you are logged out. 

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.

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

At this time, due to scarcity of available appointments, the pre-registration system cannot support changing your appointment time. You CAN cancel your appointment but you CANNOT reschedule. 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. 

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.   

What if I can’t make my scheduled second dose appointment?

Log in to your account at covid19.austintexas.gov and cancel your second dose appointment - by doing this the system will reschedule you for a second dose at a later date. If you do not cancel your second dose appointment online, call 311 or 512-974-2000 and provide your name and number and the APH Equity Line will call you back to reschedule.

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

APH is now scheduling second doses 3-5 days in advance of the 28-day mark. If you are more than 28 days past your first dose from APH, and have not received a second dose appointment, you can walk-up to any of our vaccine sites and present your CDC vaccination card. If you have an appointment and walk-up to a different site and/or at a different time, you will be turned away and asked to arrive for your scheduled appointment.
 
If it has been less than 28 days since your first dose, 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.

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

Yes, APH is automatically receiving second dose shipments from the state 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 but need a second dose? 

If you received your first dose from someone other than APH, please contact that provider about receiving your second dose. If you have checked with your first dose provider and for some reason cannot receive your second dose through them, please make sure you get your second dose from the same manufacturer as the first (i.e. Pfizer or Moderna). 

While APH is prioritizing second doses for those who received first doses through us, you can pre-register at covid19.austintexas.gov and then click the link that says "I received my 1st and/or 2nd dose from another provider" and complete your first dose information. APH only receives the Moderna vaccine and cannot provide second doses for people who received a Pfizer first dose. If APH has availability for additional Moderna second doses, we will manually schedule you for a second dose, but you will be required to show proof of your first dose on site by bringing your CDC vaccination card.

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. 

I’ve been fully vaccinated. Now what?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its first set of recommendations on activities that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can safely resume. 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
  • Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel
  • Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States

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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. All currently authorized vaccines are extremely effective at preventing severe disease and death if you do contract the disease, and range from 70-95% effective at preventing disease altogether.  


Side Effects

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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