Austin to Receive 13,600 COVID-19 Vaccine Doses, But Who Will Get It?
Austin public health officials say they will use instructions from the CDC and Governor Greg Abbott.
Austin, Texas – – In just two weeks, 13,600 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine were administered across the Austin metropolitan area. This depends on the vaccine getting FDA approval for the emergency.
Selena Xie, president of the Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services Association, told FOX 7 Austin that she believes ATCEMS’s 600 or so doctors will be vaccinated in the first wave.
“We are the ones who go to patients and often they are asymptomatic, they haven’t had a COVID test,” Xie said.
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How does COVID-19 vaccine distribution work?
The first vaccine could be shipped later this month, but many people still have questions. Beth Galvin of the FOX Medical Team has some answers.
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The CDC recommends that all health care providers providing direct patient care be on the first wave of vaccination. “These include emergency services, hospital workers, as well as nursing homes and long-term rehab facilities,” Xie said.
Austin public health officials say they will use instructions from the CDC and Governor Greg Abbott. On Sunday, the governor’s leadership remained somewhat more vague than that of the CDC. Xie, who has a colleague on the Emergency Vaccine Allocation Panel (EVAP), says that is likely to change soon.
RELATED: Austin Public Health Prioritizes Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccines
“The state is also updating the governor’s vaccination committee [Monday] and then it gets finished so we expect EMS to get it, ”she said.
With limited doses expected to make their way into the Austin metropolitan area during the first wave of vaccinations, many may be disappointed. Sunday it seemed to Austin fire and police wouldn’t be vaccinated right away.
Ken Casaday, president of the Austin Police Association, told FOX 7 Austin the department had 21 active COVID-19 cases as of Sunday. He said this was the largest number of cases since the pandemic began. To put that in perspective: the department had around 100 cases in total.
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“The department is very concerned about the rate of infection we currently have,” he said.
In the meantime, the League of United Latin American Citizens is pushing for land, farm, and meat packing workers to be included in this first wave of vaccinations.
Austin Public Health prioritizes distribution of COVID-19 vaccines
Austin Public Health has set up a Vaccine Distribution Task Force to create a plan of who will receive the limited resource first.
Governor Abbott has repeatedly identified nursing homes, prisons and jails, and meat packers as the top COVID-19 hotspots in the state.
“[Workers] should be protected from this virus and be able to provide a safe service, ”said Gabriel Nila from LULAC, who also pointed out the impact of the virus on the supply chain.
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