Austin's first 13,650 doses will be distributed among "a handful of hospitals" in Travis, Hays and Williamson counties to be administered to front-line healthcare workers, according to the release.
“We are still gathering information about the first vaccine shipment to our area,” said Dr. Mark Escott, Interim Austin-Travis County Health Authority, in the release. “We are excited for our hospital systems partners to begin vaccinating our front-line hospital workers against this virus. By protecting our healthcare system personnel we can ensure that we are able to meet the needs of COVID and non-COVID patients in our community."
Those who receive an initial dose of the Pfizer vaccine will need to receive a second dose within several weeks in order to be fully immunized against the virus.
Once Austin Public Health receives further doses, they will be prioritized for additional healthcare workers and vulnerable populations, including nursing home residents, before the general population has access to the vaccine. Details about phasing are still ongoing as APH officials remain in discussion with state and federal leaders.
“This entire process is a nationwide effort, and we are tailoring our local plan to Austin-Travis County as much as possible within the specifications set by the CDC and DSHS,” said APH Director Stephanie Hayden. “DSHS and CDC are still developing their plans, as are we.”
APH leaders also reiterated guidance to maintain social distancing, masking and transmission-prevention behaviors as vaccine distribution begins.
Learn more about the logistics of local vaccine distribution here.