Friday, July 2, 2021

Austin Public Health and Travis County Nears COVID-19 Vaccination Milestone of Protecting 70% of Residents


Austin Public Health (APH), working collaboratively with Travis County and community partners, will come very close of its goal of protecting 70% of residents 12 years and older with at least one dose of vaccine by July 4. To achieve the goal, approximately 4,000 individuals will need to be vaccinated over the holiday weekend. 

As APH and partners continue to strive for the goal, APH remains vigilant as disparities rooted in systemic inequities continue to persist for communities of color, and the threat of emerging COVID-19 variants continue to spread. While there are pockets of communities in Austin-Travis County that are still under 50% of vaccine eligible residents with at least one dose of vaccine, APH and Travis County will continue to use focused outreach and vaccination strategies to help reduce disparities and further protect our community.  

"Even as we get close to 70% first doses, it's important to remember that the pandemic is not over," said Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County Health Authority. "COVID, and especially the new Delta variant, pose a serious threat to the health of our unvaccinated and partially vaccinated community. We all need to encourage our family, friends and coworkers to get vaccinated to prevent a surge of COVID-19 cases. For those who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, they should continue to follow the 3 W's – wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance." 

According to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, 69.62% of Travis County residents 12+ have received their first dose of the vaccine while 60.37% are fully vaccinated. Cases within Travis County have plateaued over the last several weeks holding around 8 new admissions over a 7-day moving average. 

"Existing vaccinations are still more than 90% effective in keeping individuals safe," Interim APH Director Adrienne Sturrup said. "Knowing this, we continue our work with partners and community leaders to address barriers preventing individuals from getting the vaccine. It is more important than ever to have these discussions around vaccinations and why they are so important for families and our community in helping prevent the spread of COVID-19."  

Nearing a milestone  

Coming as close as Travis County has to the national milestone set by the White House in the Spring is no accident. Travis County is one of the leading counties in Texas in reaching for the 70% mark and is a direct result of close partnerships among APH, Travis County, hospitals and numerous community and non-profit organizations. 

APH and Travis County will continue towards the 70% first dose goal, as well as continue focus on reaching the next milestone of 70% of eligible residents FULLY vaccinated by Labor Day. 

"We have worked tirelessly as a community to get shots into arms, and now we can celebrate together that we are on the cusp of achieving a 70% vaccination rate," said Mayor Steve Adler. "We also know there are areas in our community that have not received their first shot that we need to reach our vaccination and health goals. Science shows the delta variant strain of the virus is a real threat, especially for those who remain unvaccinated or have only received one dose of the vaccine. We urge everyone who is not vaccinated or with only one shot to make a plan to get vaccinated." 

APH and Travis County combined have administered 437,279 vaccinations as of June 26. And both entities have started to shift from mass vaccination clinics such as those at the Delco Activity Center and Travis County Expo, to community-based pop-up sites at grocery stores, churches, neighborhood centers, and apartment complexes. 

"We must keep going," said Travis County Judge Andy Brown. "As new variants emerge and people continue to test positive for COVID-19, we need to continue vaccinating as many people as possible to ensure broad protections in our community." 

As a reminder, COVID-19 vaccinations are free, and do not require insurance or identification. Vaccines.gov can help locate providers in your area with supply of COVID-19 vaccine. You can also text your zip code to 438829 (822862 for Spanish) to see where the closest vaccination sites are located to your neighborhood. 

For additional COVID-19 information and updates, visit www.AustinTexas.gov/COVID19


4th of July Personal Watercraft Ban on Lake Austin

The Austin Police Department Lake Patrol Unit will enforce the City Ordinance that prohibits the use and operation of personal watercraft, w...