AUSTIN, TX - COVID-19 linked to the omicron variant has been detected in Texas. Scientists are still working to learn more about the variant's implications and transmissibility, but here's what we know: the best offense is a good defense. We’re happy to report Austin Public Health (APH) is seeing an uptick in COVID-19 vaccinations. It’s a promising sign for health leaders as people return from their Thanksgiving celebrations and prepare for December holidays.
"APH staff was able to scale up during high vaccine demand and their flexibility during this pandemic never ceases to amaze me,” said Austin Public Health Interim Director Adrienne Sturrup. “There is no better way to celebrate the holidays and those you love than to be fully vaccinated, and when eligible, get a booster shot.”
Sharp uptick in demand for booster shots
APH administered 5,157 COVID-19 vaccine doses last week. It has been several months (May 15, 2021) since APH clinics have seen this many people come in for vaccines. Most doses (84 percent) were booster shots.
While the omicron variant hasn’t been detected in our area yet, its appearance in several states, including Texas, reinforces health experts’ recommendation that everyone 18 and older get a booster shot to address declining immunity as
“Being vaccinated provides the best protection against severe complications and death from COVID-19 and its variants,” said Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County Health Authority. “Now is the time to get fully vaccinated, or get a booster if you are eligible, to reduce the spread and development of new variants.”
Children return to classrooms, vaccinated
Austin-Travis County’s pediatric vaccination rate is double the statewide total. Almost 26 percent of eligible children between the ages of 5 and 11 have received at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine. As more school districts will no longer offer a virtual learning option starting in January, more students should get the shot to protect themselves and their families.
COVID-19 Vaccine Resources
APH, Travis County and local pharmacies, clinics and medical offices offer Covid-19 vaccinations. Both APH and Travis County mobile locations operate on a walk-up basis with no appointment required. For those who want to avoid a long wait time, APH also offers vaccinations on an appointment basis at its four APH standing clinics.
COVID-19 vaccinations are free and require neither identification nor insurance. Appointments can be made by calling 3-1-1 or (512) 974-2200 or online.
Residents can locate providers in their area using Vaccines.gov (Vacunas.