The COVID-19 vaccine supply is growing, thanks to the FDA's recent approval of Johnson & Johnson's one-shot candidate. More Texans are now eligible to receive the vaccine. And providers are taking note of some of the technical glitches that have made it difficult for some Austinites to make appointments.
But some residents who have already received the first dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine have found scheduling a follow-up appointment an anxiety-producing process.
Provider policies vary, with some scheduling first and second dose appointments at the same time and others following up via phone or email in the interim period. Most recommend that patients receive both of their shots from the same provider. This is for two reasons:
- Providers automatically receive corresponding shipments of second doses from the state three to four weeks after the shipment of first doses is allocated.
- Patients need to receive both doses from the same manufacturer.
But even people who plan on returning to the same provider that administered their first shot have found the process confusing. Austonia asked 10 providers what their patients can expect when it comes to making their second dose appointment.
Seton Medical Center received the largest vaccine allocation of any Travis County provider this week: a total of 14,040 doses. Most of these however are being transferred to supply drive-thru vaccine clinics at the Circuit of the Americas, a collaboration of Ascension Seton, CommUnity Health Centers and Travis, Bastrop, Caldwell and Hays counties.
Otherwise, Ascension Seton providers offering vaccines will schedule second dose appointments at the time of the first dose. More information can be found here.
Austin Public Health
APH, one of two hub providers in Travis County, requires appointments for second doses. If you received your first dose through APH, the department will reach out via phone or email to schedule an appointment.
Once you have completed your first dose through APH, your appointment status in the department's pre-registration system will note you as "Completed." If your account does not show this status, you should fill out this form to correct the error. The department strongly recommends recipients upload a photo of their vaccine card to expedite the process.
If you received your first dose through APH and have not received a second appointment within the six week interval recommended by the CDC, you may walk up to any APH site and present your vaccine card to receive your second dose. More information can be found here.
Austin Regional Clinic
ARC is currently vaccinating established patients who meet the state eligibility requirements and have been deemed priority based on their electronic medical record, which considers age and health risk. If you have received your first dose from ARC and have a MyChart account, log in to find a scheduling ticket to book your second dose appointment. If you do not have a MyChar account, ARC will call you to book a follow-up appointment. More information can be found here.
Baylor Scott & White Health
Baylor Scott & White Health schedules second dose appointments at the time of the first dose appointment. Patients can register for their first dose using the MyBSWHealth digital portal online, the corresponding app or by calling 844-279-9222. More information can be found here.
CommUnityCare is only vaccinating established patients, meaning those who have seen a primary care provider at one of its clinics within the last year. CUC will reach out to patients who received a first dose at one of CUC's clinics, the Delco Activity Center or the Circuit of the Americas via text message with detailed information about their second appointment. More information can be found here.
When patients make an appointment for their initial shot online or through the CVS app, they are prompted to schedule an appointment for their second dose at the same time (if receiving Moderna or Pfizer). More information can be found here.
H-E-B Pharmacy automatically schedules second dose appointments after patients receive their first dose. More information can be found here.
UT Health Austin
UT Health Austin, the clinical wing of Dell Medical School and Travis County's other hub provider, schedules second dose appointments at the time of the first shot. If you received your first dose at another facility, you can fill out this request form. If you are eligible and there is enough vaccine available, UT Health Austin will reach out to schedule an appointment. More information can be found here.
Pharmacy staff will schedule a second appointment on-site when customers receive their first dose at a Sam's Club or Walmart location. In addition to appointments, the online scheduler will provide a digital reminder when it is time to return for the second appointment. More information, including links to the Walmart and Sam's Club schedulers, can be found here.
Williamson County's partner Family Hospital Systems will email first dose recipients within a week to schedule second dose appointments, which will take place 28 to 42 days after the first appointment. FHS does not accept walk-ups. More information can be found here.
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East Austin restaurant la Barbecue has been robbed a third time in less than three months, according to a post on the restaurant's Instagram.
In the post, the restaurant included photos of what appeared to be a man exiting a minivan from surveillance footage.
"This guy pulled up in a car full of stuff… he ripped our gate open and stole a couple empty kegs," the post said. "The ring system scared him off so he did not venture back into the area. PLEASE EVERYONE ON THE EAST SIDE BE CAREFUL!!! This guy goes back into his car to grab something before he goes in. I am hoping he won’t be back!!"
The robbery comes as many restaurant and food truck owners have been on guard from recent break-ins. East Austin cheesesteak truck R&B's Steak and Fries has also been robbed three times in around three months, according to owner Kris Elliott. Elliot said the truck was last robbed around a month and a half ago.
"When the weather gets cold, it seems like these things start to happen more often," Elliott said. "We're just happy no one got hurt."
Additionally, he said all 5 of the food trucks in their lot have experienced burglaries. The landlord of the space is taking action by investing in alarm and camera systems. "Been very tough dealing with this problem as us small business owners are just trying to survive during the pandemic," Elliott said.
And it's not just in East Austin. North Austin restaurants Eldorado Cafe and Chez Zee Bistro were both broken into and robbed on the weekend of Jan. 8, while over a dozen food truck robberies and break-ins were reported in the latter half of 2021.
Some, like Chez Zee's Deborah Velasco, wonder if the understaffed Austin Police Department's decision to no longer respond to non-emergency calls is part of the problem. Xose Velasco, owner of East Austin's Discada, said owners are keeping their guard up in the wake of the robberies as he was robbed twice within a month of reopening in November 2021.
"We try to keep the lights on," Velasco said. "We're a little bit more careful."
After 12 months, the long-anticipated massive Tesla factory in Southeast Travis County is up and operating and everyone wants a look inside.
Phase 1 of Giga Texas appears to be tied up as production of the Model Y Tesla is underway, the electric car company revealed on Wednesday in its fourth-quarter earnings call. The factory, located on the former Harold Green-turned Tesla Road, sits on more than 2,000 acres of land in southeast Travis County.
Here's a glimpse inside the factory.
Model Ys will be the first Teslas to come out of Giga Texas with an estimated delivery of August. The wait estimate comes after Tesla noted supply chain issues have affected their factories, which have been running below capacity for several quarters. A deep blue metallic like this goes for $1,000 more than a white or silver Model Y, totaling $61,990.
Model Ys began being produced at Giga Texas at the end of 2020. In general assembly at the factory, the Teslas get their major interior components to finish the vehicle.
Workers at Austin's Gigafactory are attaching seats to a structural battery pack. It's been described by some as the biggest difference between Texas-made Model Y's and the current version at the Fremont, California factory. It shouldn't have a major impact on the owner's experience, but Tesla has updated instructions for the jacking procedure, as the lift points are different.
With a sleek, open office setup, workers can take in a view of the factory from their seats. It's a component CEO Elon Musk wanted for what is now the headquarters of Tesla.
On the Austin, Texas public location Snapchat, a photo of inside Giga Texas has appeared. On the left you can see a sneak peek of a Model Y body.pic.twitter.com/N7zliZ5vkL— Sawyer Merritt (@Sawyer Merritt) 1643081462
With Snapchat's maps, anyone can look at everyday activity happening at the factory. To view these geographically-linked stories, click the bottom left "map" icon and search "Tesla Giga Texas." Once you've found it, you can view the Snapchat story of those in and around the facility. While most stories stay up for only 24 hours, Giga Texas is a designated place on Snapchat, allowing users to view a collection of photos and videos from the inside.
Following Model Ys, Texas-made Teslas will include the Cybertruck, Semi and Model 3. But it might be a while before those other models arrive. EV makers have been hit hard by the chip shortage, and it's thought that changing features are contributing to Cybertruck delays as Tesla works to compete in the electric pickup market.
Joe Rogan paid a visit to buddy Elon Musk this week. The two have been seen around town since both moving to Texas. Naturally, Rogan was impressed with the prototype.
If you're dying to get a closer look at this factory, you just might get to. In December, Musk said the factory would have tours available to the community early this year.
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