Austin coronavirus: First wave of vaccine headed to hospitals

kvue.com

Initial vaccine doses are set to be allocated to hospitals for healthcare workers.

AUSTIN, Texas — Pending Emergency Use Authorization, thousands of COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer are set to be delivered to the Austin area in a matter of days. 

The Department of State Health Services on Friday released a list of hospitals that have been approved to receive their first round of vaccines in week one, as healthcare workers are set to become the first group of people to get them.

According to the list, Travis County hospitals will receive a total of 13,650 initial doses.

“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 Austin Public Health Director Stephanie Hayden. “DSHS and CDC are still developing their plans, as are we.”

More than 150 providers, including APH, have registered with the State to distribute the vaccine in Austin-Travis County, however, this initial shipment is only heading to area hospitals.

“We are still gathering information about the first vaccine shipment to our area,” said Dr. Mark Escott, Interim Austin-Travis County Health Authority. “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. We are looking forward to vaccine shipments continuing in the weeks and months to come so that, in future phases, we can offer vaccines to those at high risk for severe disease as we progress down the path of community-wide vaccination.”

APH, local healthcare systems and community partners have established a coalition to plan for vaccine distribution within the area. The coalition is developing strategies to reach the desired level of vaccine coverage through a phased approach.

“This is an exciting moment for us in Austin-Travis County, and we have been planning for it for a while now,” said Cassandra DeLeon, APH Interim Assistant Director. “It’s important to remember that while we might be starting to see a light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, it will still be important to social distance, wear a mask, wash your hands, and avoid gathering this holiday season. We will need a lot more than this initial shipment of vaccines to ensure the safety of our entire community. It is important that we stay the course, especially now.”

The DSHS submitted the first week’s allocation of COVID-19 vaccine to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The first week’s allocation is 224,250 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to be shipped to 109 hospitals in 34 counties as early as the week of Dec. 14, depending on when the vaccine is authorized for use in the U.S. 

Eight hospitals in Travis County, two in Williamson and one in Hays County have been selected, for a total of 16,575 doses. Here’s a closer look at the local distribution:

Seton Medical Center – 2,925 dosesDell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas – 1,950 dosesSouth Austin Medical Center – 975 dosesDell Seton Medical Center – 1,950 dosesUT Health Austin (Dell Medical School) – 2,925 dosesAustin State Hospital – 975 dosesNorth Austin Medical Center – 975 dosesSt. David’s Medical Center – 975 doses

Round Rock Medical Center – 975 dosesBaylor Scott and White Health Medical Center Round Rock – 975 doses

Seton Medical Center Hays – 975 doses

For a look at week one of the state’s distribution, click here.


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