AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin’s public health department urged families to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and the flu, specifically for children.

Austin Public Health said Friday that children’s COVID-19 vaccination rates lag far behind adult rates. About 41% of children between ages 5-11 have finished their primary series as of Jan. 19. The rate for children ages 6 months to 4 years is about 9.5%. APH said this age group is at high risk of severe symptoms.

On Friday, APH said it was starting a new campaign to increase parents’ and caregivers’ confidence in vaccines. The Austin-Travis County health department said this is important during an active flu season and with “increasingly transmissible COVID-19 subvariants.”

“I’m concerned about the low vaccine uptake we’re seeing among our children,” Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County Health Authority’s medical director, said in a statement. “We want to do everything we can to help empower parents to protect their families from these vaccine-preventable illnesses.” 

Walkes spoke with KXAN on Friday to share more information about the new campaign and share where parents can get their children vaccinated.

More information about COVID-19 vaccination availability can be found at