Travis County vaccine providers receive nearly 75,000 doses for week of March 8 as eligibility expands

Photo of people in line in a parking lot
People wait in line for vaccine appointments with Austin Public Health. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)

People wait in line for vaccine appointments with Austin Public Health. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)

There are 74,940 coronavirus vaccine doses en route to Travis County providers during a pivotal week for Texas’ vaccination effort. The March 8 vaccine allocation from the Texas Department of State Health Services includes 19,500 doses of the recently authorized Johnson & Johnson vaccine, a single-shot option that local health authorities have said could speed up Travis County’s vaccinations. This is also the first full week that educators and child care professionals have been eligible to receive a dose.

Regional hub provider Austin Public Health will receive 12,000 Moderna doses this week. APH announced an updated appointment scheduling process on March 8: Going forward, first-dose appointments will be released on Monday evenings with additional appointments released Thursday evenings if additional doses are available.

Individuals who receive the Moderna vaccine are recommended to have their second dose 28-42 days after their first, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with second doses administered as close to 28 days as possible. Second doses can still be administered after 42 days, although the CDC does not have complete data about how an extension of that window affects efficacy.

APH has released a flowchart for vaccine recipients to reference ahead of their second dose. While protocol is for APH to reach out to patients when it is time to set up their follow-up appointment, the organization has acknowledged some registrants may slip through the cracks and should follow up through APH’s registration portal if their status in the portal is not listed as “complete” after the first appointment. Anyone who has not received a follow-up appointment within 42 days of their first dose may walk up to a vaccination site without an appointment.

Teachers and other school staff will be among those vaccinated by APH this week, according to communications from the organization. As of March 5, 12,000 school employees and child care staff had preregistered through APH's portal. On March 6, APH began a practice of prioritizing child care and school employees during Saturday vaccine distributions. It has encouraged other vaccine providers in Travis County to do the same.


This week, 85 of the 350-plus registered vaccine providers in the county will receive vaccine doses, including APH. Other large allocations will go to Ascension Seton Medical Center at 1201 W. 38th St., Austin, with 14,040 Pfizer doses and UT Health Austin with 11,700 Pfizer doses. Most Johnson & Johnson doses will go out in allocations of 100 doses each to smaller pharmacies and clinics. The full list of allocations is available here.
By Olivia Aldridge

Multi-Platform Journalist

Olivia hosts and produces Community Impact Newspaper's podcasts, The Austin Breakdown, The Houston Breakdown and The DFW Breakdown. She launched the podcasts after nearly three years as a reporter for the newspaper, covering public health, business, development and Travis County government for the Central Austin edition. Olivia worked as a reporter and producer for South Carolina Public Radio before moving to Texas.