DSHS says Austin area to receive over 13K COVID-19 vaccine doses

FOX 7 Austin

AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Department of State Health Services says the Austin area will receive 13,650 initial doses of the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer.

The doses are set to arrive in mid-December. DSHS and the CDC will outline the priority populations to receive the vaccine first, says a joint release from the City of Austin and Travis County.

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

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Austin Public Health prioritizing COVID-19 vaccine distribution

Austin Public Health has established a vaccine distribution task force to outline a plan on who would get the finite resource first.

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More than 150 providers, including APH, have registered through DSHS to distribute COVID-19 vaccine in Austin-Travis County, however, this initial shipment will go to a handful of hospitals in Travis, Hays, and Williamson counties.  

RELATED: Abbott announces initial COVID-19 vaccine distribution for December

APH, local healthcare systems, and community partners have established a coalition to plan for COVID-19 vaccine distribution within Austin and Travis County. The coalition is developing strategies to reach the desired level of COVID-19 vaccination coverage through a phased approach, says the city and county.

Local jurisdiction coalitions have been identified at the federal level as a best practice and are key to successful rapid vaccine distribution planning, says the release. Coalition members continue to assess the evolving situation, inform operational plans, and collaboratively identify resources.

How will COVID-19 vaccine distribution work?

The first vaccine could be shipped later this month but many people still have questions. FOX Medical Team’s Beth Galvin has some answers.

RELATED: 1st coronavirus vaccines to go to health care workers, nursing homes, US scientific panel votes

The coalition focuses on these key areas:  

Identifying Priority Populations Vaccine Distribution Channels Vaccine Management Community Messaging/Engagement 

The release says the coalition is working with the latest, best information available to make informed decisions with the goal for Austin and Travis County to be ready for the vaccine. 

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