Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Austin Public Health Continues to Vaccinate All Adults

Austin Public Health Continues to Vaccinate All Adults

Published May 4, 2021

Vaccine Approval & Eligibility 

  • 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.
  • Everyone 16 years of age and older is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
    • Note: All vaccines are authorized for people age 18 and older, but only the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for people 16 and older.

Vaccine Data

  • APH released a COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Dashboard, which includes the total of APH and CommUnityCare-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.
  • APH has received 12,000 first doses per week since Jan. 11 from Texas DSHS. Beginning this week, the first dose allocation requested by APH will be 6,000 per week.
  • Texas DSHS also has a COVID-19 vaccination dashboard available, which shows data for all vaccines administered in Travis County and across the state.

Vaccine Providers

  • APH is one of two local vaccine hubs, serving 18+ with Moderna. APH expanded online appointment scheduling (covid19.austintexas.gov) to be open from Friday at 7 p.m. through the following Friday at 7 a.m. The scheduling system then reopens that Friday evening at 7 p.m. with appointments for the next week.
  • APH has also begun accepting some walk-ups without appointments for first doses at Delco, Southeast Library, and Little Walnut Creek Library. To find the dates and times for walk-up clinics view the "Upcoming Events" at AustinTexas.gov/COVID19 or call 311 or 512-974-2000.
  • Some local pharmacies receive direct allocations from the federal government and other local providers receive smaller allocations each week. A list of local providers can be found at centraltxvaccs.org and vaccinefinder.org.

Second Doses

  • 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.
  • 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 been more than 28 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.
  • If you miss your appointment, you can walk-up after 28 days. Call 311 or 512-974-2000 for walk-up locations and times.

Side Effects

  • 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.  

Safety & Effectiveness

  • 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. 
  • The FDA and 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. 
  • Immunity from the COVID-19 vaccine may last longer than the natural immunity you get if you've already had COVID-19. However, people who currently have COVID-19 should not be vaccinated while being sick.
  • 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.

Continued Precautions 

  • Even with 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
    • Participate in outdoor activities and recreation without a mask, except in certain crowded settings and venues 
    • 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

For additional COVID-19 vaccine information, visit www.AustinTexas.gov/COVID19-Vaccines.