Without a COVID-19 vaccine even though you’re eligible? APH says try other providers

Texas Coronavirus Vaccine

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Since January, Austin Public Health has been a state-designated COVID-19 vaccine hub for Travis County, meaning it is charged by the state with rolling out large community vaccination efforts.

When the state pivoted to giving more vaccines to these hubs in January, vaccine registration pivoted too as APH became a primary local provider of the COVID-19 vaccine. UT Health Austin (Dell Medical School) has also been designated as a hub vaccine provider for the Austin area.

But with hundreds of thousands of eligible people now in the Austin Public Health system and waiting for their vaccines, the department is encouraging the public to try signing up with other providers who may have a better ratio of vaccines to interested recipients.

Tuesday at a joint presentation on Facebook Live along with Austin Independent School District’s Parent Engagement Support Office, Austin Public Health representatives explained that there are currently more than 260,000 people eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine who are in Austin Public Health’s system and waiting for an appointment.

For the past 11 weeks, Austin Public Health has received around 12,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine each week. At that rate, it would take more than 21 weeks to get all the eligible people currently waiting with APH their first vaccination dose.

“Keep hanging in there and keep trying, and definitely keep looking around at different providers,” said Matt Lara, a public information officer with the City of Austin.

Lara noted there are more than 300 state-designated COVID-19 vaccine providers in Travis County, so Austin Public Health is no longer the primary entity distributing public vaccinations.

“We certainly understand the frustration,” Lara said of the 1A and 1B individuals still waiting to get a dose. He encourages those eligible and still waiting for their shot to go to vaccinefinder.org to find other vaccine providers nearby.

Want to sign up with Austin Public Health?

You can still sign up with Austin Public Health to be on the waitlist for vaccine doses and, if you are eligible, to sign up for vaccine appointments. APH has both walk-up and drive-thru vaccination sites.

The appointments are released every Monday evening and Austin Public Health says it usually posts announcements on its Facebook and Twitter about vaccine rollout updates throughout the week. The appointments released by Austin Public Health are only available to those who fall into the state’s 1A, 1B, and 1C groups as well as educators/certified childcare providers. APH says if you cannot get into the queuing system, you are not eligible.

The Austin Public Health vaccine registration process is only available in English or Spanish. If you speak a language besides English or Spanish, you can call 3-1-1 where a representative can help you register or get scheduled for a vaccine appointment.

“It is a frustrating situation, but we really do hope within the next month or two, as more providers come online, as vaccine manufacturing and distribution ramps up, that we will definitely be able to access the vaccine and anyone who wants it can be able to get it,” Lara said.

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