According to Texas Department of State Health Services data, 616,028 residents of Travis County have received either a full two-dose course of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson dose. Using population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2019 American Community Survey five-year estimate, that means 50.2% of the county is fully immunized against the coronavirus.
Early this spring, Austin Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mark Escott said 50% vaccination could be a turning point for coronavirus transmission rates in Austin, noting that El Paso, which has led the way in vaccinations among Texas cities, saw promising results when it arrived at a similar level.
"This puts us at an important point," Escott said, discussing the 50% threshold with city and county leaders in May. "[El Paso] had a 50% drop in new COVID cases after they exceeded 50% of the population vaccinated."
Coronavirus transmission rates are currently at their lowest level in over a year. New cases in Austin-Travis County currently sit at a seven-day moving average of 32 a day with a seven-day moving average of 9.7 daily hospitalizations related to the virus.
Experts say herd immunity from COVID-19 is an elusive goal, but Austin Public Health has said it could become possible once 67% of the population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Local health authorities continue to push for increased vaccination with APH sponsoring a number of pop-up and mobile vaccine clinic opportunities.
This week, APH will host a clinic at El Shaddai Pentecostés on June 15 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at 7650 Ed Bluestein Blvd., Austin, offering the Moderna vaccine to people age 18 and up. Other locations will be open throughout the week, including the Ana Lark Center, Little Walnut Creek Library and Southeast Branch Library. More information about APH's vaccination opportunities can be found at www.covid19.austintexas.gov, and vaccine appointments are also available at pharmacies and private clinics around Travis County.
Editor's note: This story was updated to reflect that the Travis County population was 50.2% fully vaccinated as of June 13.