“We assure you that as soon as we can safely give the vaccine again, we will notify the public," APH Director Stephanie Hayden-Howard said in the release.
APH, a regional vaccination hub and the largest distributor of COVID-19 vaccines in Travis County, was set to receive 12,000 first-round doses from the Texas Department of State Health Services this week. That shipment was delayed due to weather and road conditions, and as of Feb. 19 at 3 p.m., APH had not received the doses.
DSHS said Feb. 19 that 100,000 first-round doses and 300,000 second-round doses from this week's statewide allocation still await shipment and should arrive early next week. During the week of Feb. 22, DSHS will send and additional 591,920 first-round doses and 364,830 second-round doses across the state. 31,250 of those first-round doses will go to Travis County providers, including 12,000 that will go to APH.
Beginning Feb. 12, APH postponed vaccine appointments indefinitely. Once conditions allow vaccines to commence, the agency said it will reach out to those appointment-holders to reschedule, prioritizing second-dose appointments, which the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recommends take place 28-42 days after a first dose. While APH said Feb. 18 that there is no maximum length of time that should elapse between the the first and second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, the CDC's guidance says there is limited data availability as to the efficacy of a second dose administered beyond 42 days.
"We are hoping we have buildings with water and electricity so we can provide the second dose as soon as possible," APH said Feb. 19 in a tweet responding to a resident who said their vaccination appointment had been canceled.
Later that same afternoon, APH said it was in the process of determining when operations could safely recommence—and that vaccine administration would expand once they do.
APH is working to determine when vaccine operations can safely resume.
Once operations restart, we will be working on a larger scale than before with extended hours + sites to serve as many people as possible with the vaccine that has been allocated. pic.twitter.com/Q0rLeYID2V
— Austin Public Health (@AusPublicHealth) February 19, 2021
Editor's note: This story was updated shortly after publication to include new communications from Austin Public Health and the Texas Department of State Health Services.