Wednesday, August 3, 2022

APH's Mobile Vaccination Program helping to improve vaccine coverage

 

Organizations encouraged to utilize MVP to co-host pop-up clinics

Austin Public Health's Mobile Vaccination Program (MVP) has been busy staffing vaccine clinics and pop-up events in vaccine-hesitant communities. So far this summer (May-July), MVP has administered more than 1,500 COVID-19 vaccine doses at 67 clinics hosted alongside trusted organizations such as non-profits, businesses and churches. MVP is ready to help students get up to date with their COVID-19 vaccine before their first day by partnering with school districts. 

"We know there's a lot of community transmission locally, so we're asking caretakers and parents to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the back-to-school list," said Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County Health Authority. "Vaccines are your best defense against serious illness from COVID-19."

If you are interested in scheduling an APH pop-up clinic at your facility, please complete this Austin Public Health Mobile Vaccination Request form. 

Travis County continues to host vaccine clinics throughout the community. You can also get up to date with COVID-19 vaccines at physicians’ offices, pharmacies and other health care facilities. Find vaccine providers using Vaccines.gov (Vacunas.gov in Spanish) or by texting your zip code to 438829 (822862 in Spanish) to find a nearby clinic. As always, the APH Shots for Tots/Big Shots clinics are open by appointment and COVID-19 vaccines are available to all regardless of insurance status. Call 512-972-5520 to schedule. 

"The vaccine clinic at Sims Elementary is now closed but we are prepared to scale up operations again if a mass vaccine site becomes necessary," said APH Director Adrienne Sturrup. "MVP has proven itself as a model for outreach in underserved or vaccine-hesitant communities and we will continue to offer this service."

In June, APH evaluated the community need and adjusted operations in order to continue offering vaccine at Old Sims. This was around the time APH started administering pediatric COVID-19 vaccines to babies and toddlers. Since June 23, the team has administered more than 925 doses to this young age group. Saturday was the final clinic at Old Sims. Closing this site allows the vaccine program flexibility to stand up clinics at times and locations they’re needed most. 

This spring APH received Exemplary Provider status for Immunization and Testing Services by The Compliance Team, a national healthcare accreditation organization. APH is the first health department to receive this designation. 

APH has administered more than 396,751 COVID-19 vaccine doses since December 2020. More than 70% of Travis County’s eligible population is fully vaccinated. You are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines when you have received all doses in the primary series and all eligible booster doses. Many people are eligible for a second booster. A CDC web tool can help you learn whether you’re eligible for a booster. 

Free COVID-19 tests 

APH encourages testing before and after gatherings, especially if you plan to be in close contact with individuals who are at risk. APH's Metz Elementary testing site (84 Robert T. Martinez Jr. St., Austin, TX 78702) is still open providing free PCR tests and rapid antigen tests. A third round of free mail-order COVID-19 test kits is available through the federal government

Free masks (N-95 respirators) 

Use the CDC’s mask-locator tool to find pharmacies near you that provide free masks (N95 respirators). It does not show current inventories, so check with the location for availability. 

 

About Austin Public Health 

Austin Public Health is the health department for the City of Austin and Travis County. Austin Public Health works to prevent disease, promote health and protect the well-being of all by monitoring and preventing infectious diseases and environmental threats and educating about the benefits of preventative behaviors to avoid chronic diseases and improve health outcomes. 

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