Austin vaccine updates: Demand slows as state begins marketing push

The Delco Activity Center in Northeast Austin is one of the locations where residents can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. (Jack Flalger/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Delco Activity Center in Northeast Austin is one of the locations where residents can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. (Jack Flalger/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Delco Activity Center in Northeast Austin is one of the locations where residents can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. (Jack Flalger/Community Impact Newspaper)

In the last few weeks, local health officials say the point has been reached in which vaccine supply has caught up with demand. All adults in the United States are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, and locally, Austin Public Health has lengthened its registration window after appointment slots began to go unfilled.

This week, the Department of State Health Services is sending 27,300 more doses to Travis County providers—along with 14,000 to providers in Hays County and 16,870 to Williamson County. That includes 12,000 doses to APH, the typical allotment for the public health provider, as well as 8,190 to UT Health Austin, Travis County’s other vaccine hub.

“I don’t think we have an issue of people not wanting the vaccine. I think we’ve reached that stage where supply and demand are in equilibrium, and that’s okay,” said Dr. Mark Escott, Austin-Travis County interim public health authority, on April 16.

As focus shifts from meeting demand to reaching out to convince more Texans to take the vaccine, DSHS is beginning a marketing campaign that includes $1.5 million in radio and television advertisements.

The ads feature doctors speaking about vaccine safety and effectiveness such as Dr. Farris Blount and Dr. Tiorra Johnson Ross, both of Houston, and Dr. Emilie Prot, DSHS medical director of Harlingen.


“As African Americans I understand there have been some issues here as it relates to medical care historically,” Blount said in the ad. “We’re all in this pandemic regardless of race. This is not a Black thing or a white thing, it’s a human thing.”

First-dose vaccine appointments are open through APH through 7 a.m. April 20.