Central Texas vaccine hubs playing catch-up after week of bad weather slows vaccine distribution

Texas coronavirus vaccine

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Vaccine distribution hubs in Central Texas are playing catch-up after thousands of appointments were canceled during last week’s severe winter storms.

Both Austin Public Health and Family Hospital Systems received doses they were unable to distribute during the storm.

At FHS’ vaccine distribution site at the Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex, patients waited in line for as long as two hours Monday morning. FHS extended its hours to administer doses to those with appointments until 9 p.m. Monday.

The goal was to give out 7,000 first doses of the vaccine at Kelly Reeves Stadium Monday. That’s double what’s usually distributed in a day there.

FHS says all of the first and second doses of vaccines it got and couldn’t use over the past week were preserved through the storm. Employees have been manually rescheduling all appointments to ensure they’re used.

“If you had an appointment with us last week, we are going to honor that appointment this week,” said FHS spokeswoman Jen Stratton.

Meanwhile, APH began vaccinating some people again at an undisclosed location Sunday and Monday. According to a spokesperson for APH, second-dose appointments will resume at multiple locations Tuesday.

APH plans to dole out second doses of the vaccine to about 5,700 to 6,500 people a day through those multiple sites. That’s more than it’s been able to vaccinate in a week previously.

Both APH and FHS are working to manually reschedule appointments for those whose appointments were canceled. They will then be notified of appointment date and time.

Both say they had no issues with power outages where their doses of the vaccines were stored during the winter storm. Both say the vaccines were monitored closely and were kept at the proper temperature the entire time.

Generally, the hubs work to distribute vaccines no more than seven days after the shipments arrive. That’s a requirement from the state.

However, an APH spokesperson told KXAN the Moderna vaccine is still good to be used as is for up to 30 days, as long as it’s kept at the right temperature. The Texas Department of State Health Services is working with hubs to allow them to administer those doses that may have passed the seven-day mark due to weather delays.

KXAN reached out to Hays County about its plans to make up for winter weather distribution delays and will provide an update once that information is provided.

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