COVID-19 vaccine could be in Austin within 2 weeks, say officials

KVUE – During a town hall meeting on the coronavirus vaccine in Austin on Thursday December 4th, health officials said the COVID-19 vaccine will most likely be available to some healthcare workers on December 18th or 19th, but it does exist the possibility that this is possible come next week

Austin’s top doctor, Dr. Mark Escott, and Austin Public Health Director Dr. Stephanie Hayden, hosted by Dell Medical School at the University of Texas and the Travis County Medical Society, attended a virtual town hall to discuss how to prepare for the vaccine’s arrival. They touched on how the coordination between health systems and providers works and how it should be distributed efficiently and fairly.

Escott set four phases for the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in Travis County.

Phase one The vaccine is expected to be limited in availability, so those who are most susceptible will get it first. This includes healthcare workers, particularly those who work directly with patients in a nursing home or long-term care facility, as well as those patients who live in those facilities.

“So if we can avoid hospital stays, ICU stays and deaths, we can limit exposure on the hospital side,” Escott said.

Phase two runs from January 2021 to July 2021. The number of available doses in the US increases to 660 million and we will see local pharmacies and other distributors receive the vaccine.

“I suspect doctors and nurses and staff outside of the hospital or emergency room will be checking for availability in February or March,” Escott said.

In phase three, which starts in July, predict we’ll have enough vaccines, and the same goes for Phase fourwhich starts in October 2021.

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