Your daily dose of Austin
Smartphone image
Make your inbox more Austin.
Local news and fun, every day 6am.
Update: Austin Public Health will now release vaccine appointments on Monday evenings
(Austin Public Health/Twitter)

Austin Public Health will release first dose COVID-19 vaccine appointments on a weekly basis starting Monday evening. The specific days and number of appointments made available will depend on the weekly allocation from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Previously, APH released first dose appointments on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The department is making this change in part due to feedback from residents, many of whom have reported difficulty navigating the city's pre-registration system. "It's an evolving system," APH Assistant Director Cassandra DeLeon said during a Friday press conference.

Depending on inventory, unplanned vaccine shipments and no-show rates, APH may release additional vaccine appointments on Thursday evenings. The bulk of vaccine appointments will be made available on Mondays.

APH made thousands of vaccine appointments available outside of its typical first-dose release schedule last week after staff caught up on the appointment backlog caused by recent winter storms more quickly than expected.

The department also implemented a queuing system in late February. When first dose appointments become available for scheduling, registrants are added to a queue and receive an estimate wait time until they are at the front of the line; at that point, they will have 10 minutes to make an appointment.

APH provided the following tips for hopeful vaccine recipients:

  • Appointments are only available to those in the eligible groups. If you are unable to get into the queuing system, you are not currently eligible.
  • When it is your turn to make an appointment, the registration site may take you to the log in screen. If this happens, it does not mean you have lost your spot; you should log in and continue to schedule.
  • If you get stuck clicking "Next" when trying to make an appointment, it means too many people are choosing that time slot. Click on the home icon in the upper left corner and click "Schedule, Reschedule, Cancel at FIRST Dose Vaccine" to find a new time slot. Do not click the back button on your browser.
  • Enable all cookies when in the queue, which APH says will help hold your place in line if you are logged out.

Despite being a designated hub provider, APH continues to field much more demand for vaccine appointments than its available supply. Around 218,000 eligible people were registered on the department's waitlist, Director Stephanie Hayden-Howard said Friday. With a weekly shipment of 12,000 first doses allocated by the state, the department is only about to vaccinate around 5.5% of those eligible registrants each week.

Supply is improving, however. The FDA recently granted an emergency use authorization to Johnson & Johnson's single-shot vaccine, which quickly translated into larger allocations for the state—and Travis County, in turn. With more local providers now receiving shipments of the vaccine, APH encourages eligible residents to regularly check appointment availability at their pharmacy and doctor's offices.


Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.

Mac and Cheese Fest and Free Art Exhibit
Waterloo Greenway, Good Vibrations Installation

🗓 All weekend

🎨 Creek Show Art Exhibit

Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities

All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park

✨ Mozart's Light Show

This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.

6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

🗓 Saturday

🥊 Kickboxing in the Park

This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.

10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park

🛍 The Front Market

Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.

11 a.m - 5 p.m | 📍Ani's Day and Night - 7107 E Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741

🗓 Sunday

🧀 Mac and Cheese Fest

Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.

11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway