Amid omicron news, Austin-Travis County administers record number of COVID-19 boosters

Coronavirus

FILE — Doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine wait to be administered to the students and faculty of UTPB during a vaccination clinic held in partnership with Midland Memorial Hospital, Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021, in Odessa, Texas. (Eli Hartman/Odessa American via AP)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — As Austin Public Health put it: the best offense is a good defense. As new information comes out about the omicron variant and its spread across the United States, APH says they gave a record number of COVID-19 booster vaccines over the past week.

“APH staff was able to scale up during high vaccine demand and their flexibility during this pandemic never ceases to amaze me,” said Austin Public Health Interim Director Adrienne Sturrup said in a release. “There is no better way to celebrate the holidays and those you love than to be fully vaccinated, and when eligible, get a booster shot.”  

APH said they gave more than 5,100 COVID-19 vaccine doses last week, which they haven’t done since May. Roughly 84% of those were booster shots, according to their release.

During a meeting with Travis County Commissioner Tuesday, Judge Andy Brown pointed out the number of doses given county-wide over the past week equaled more than half of all the doses given out in the month of November.

Commissioners also noted people in the community were reportedly struggling to make appointments at national chains like Walgreens and CVS because of high demand.

“Over the last week, we have seen an elevated demand for vaccinations and testing. Our teams are working to ensure our customers are being cared for to support this demand,” a Walgreens corporate spokesperson told KXAN.

“We have the inventory and capacity to meet COVID-19 vaccine needs, including in areas of high demand,” a spokesperson for CVS said.

Still, Travis County health leaders reminded the public that vaccines can be given on a walk-up, no appointment basis through the county. You can find vaccine events on the Travis County vaccine website.

According to data from the Texas Department of Health and Human Services (DSHS), just under 69% of the eligible population, people five and older, in Travis County is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

That vaccination rate is ahead of the state as a whole, which is sitting at just under 60% of the population 5-years-old and older being fully vaccinated.

Nearly 79% of the eligible population has gotten at least one dose in Travis County, according to those numbers.

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