TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Now that fully vaccinated people can safely stop wearing masks outside and inside most places under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, Austin Mayor Steve Adler is nevertheless urging residents to continue getting their COVID-19 vaccinations.
Adler praised the efficacy of the vaccines, but urged Austinites to not allow the progress be in vain.
“Since more people will not be wearing masks, it makes it even more important to get vaccinated. It is now easier than ever to get a vaccine — you can find a walk-up clinic without an appointment in more places, and eligibility has expanded to those 12 years of age and older. We urge everyone to ‘take the shot.’ We anticipate that Dr. Escott will be revising his rules shortly.”
Meanwhile, Travis County Judge Andy Brown echoed the Mayor’s comments directed toward families with children ages 12 and older.
Just last week, Austin Interim Health Authority, Dr. Mark Escott, explained that area hospitals are seeing a spike in hospitalizations for residents ages 10 to 19 — despite the emergency-use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on May 10.
“This is a warning for parents,” said Escott. “Even though the overall threat is decreasing in the community, their children are still vulnerable and will be vulnerable until vaccinated.”
Judge Brown says the CDC may need to give the final approval but Escott says as far as he’s concerned, the shot has been approved for the age group, saying: “Don’t wait any longer.”
Fully vaccinated students at Austin Independent School District, however, will still need to mask up, with the district announcing last week that despite the updated CDC guidelines, they’ll keep masking in places because they have no way of verifying vaccination statuses.
If you need help finding a vaccine, call 311 or (512) 974-2000.