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Since the state of Texas expanded vaccine eligibility to include residents 16 and older in late March, many Austin families may be on the hunt for an appointment for their younger members.
The Pfizer vaccine is available to people 16 and older and the Moderna one is available to those 18 and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is not being distributed due to concerns about a possible blood clot link, is authorized for people 18 and older.
Some providers only have Moderna doses to offer or are limiting appointments to residents 18 and older or existing patient networks. But others are vaccinating 16- and 17-year-olds, including the following:
Austin Regional Clinic offers Pfizer vaccine appointments to people 16 and older at various locations, including in Kyle, Dripping Springs, Far West, Georgetown, Hutto, Quarry Lake, Round Rock, South First and Wilson Parke. Existing patients with an account can schedule an appointment here. Anyone else can call 866-453-4525 to speak with a scheduler.
Baylor Scott & White is vaccinating people 16 and older as of Wednesday. To make an appointment call 844-279-8222.
The Central Texas Vaccine Collaborative is offering vaccine appointments to people 16 and older at its weekend drive-thru clinic at the Circuit of the Americas. Appointments can be scheduled here.
Curative offers Pfizer vaccine appointments to people 16 and older at both its Dell Diamond and Georgetown ISD drive-thru sites. Dell Diamond has more than 4,000 available slots on Wednesday and Thursday, and GISD has 250 for Thursday. Dell Diamond appointments can be scheduled here, and GISD appointments here.
CVS Pharmacy offers Pfizer vaccine appointments to people 16 and older. Select locations in the Austin area had availability as of Wednesday morning. Appointments can be scheduled here.
H-E-B Pharmacy offers Pfizer vaccine appointments to people 16 and older. Select locations within a 25-mile radius of Austin had open slots as of Wednesday morning. Appointments can be scheduled here.
The University of Texas at Austin, one of two hub providers in Travis County, is offering vaccine appointments and walk-up availability on a limited basis to people 16 and older. Those interested can fill out the vaccination request form here for an appointment or visit Gregory Gym on Monday through Friday from 9-11:30 a.m. and from 1:30-3 p.m. Sixteen- and 17-year-olds must have a parent or guardian sign this minor consent form and bring it with them to their appointment.
Walmart and Sam's Club locations offer vaccine appointments to Texas residents 16 and older and currency has availability at some Austin area stores. Appointments can be scheduled here.
Both Pfizer and Moderna are in the midst of clinical trials to determine whether their COVID vaccines are safe and effective for children as young as 6 months.
Public health experts stress that vaccinating children will be critical to achieving herd immunity and ending the pandemic. Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott estimates that nearly 40% of the local population—some 500,000 people—remains vulnerable to COVID, either because they are unvaccinated or have not developed natural immunity. Around half of that vulnerable population is children under 16 who are not yet eligible for the vaccine.
Escott encouraged teenagers who can access the vaccine to do so. "Those individuals who are 16 or 17 years old, go get a Pfizer vaccine," he told local elected officials Tuesday. "The faster we can get shots in arms, the faster we can progress towards herd immunity and normalcy."
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A week after Texas added two congressional seats and California lost one, state officials reported a population decline in 2020 for the first time in the Golden State's history.
California fell by over 182,000 people from January 2020 to January 2021, dropping almost 0.5% to cap out at around 39.5 million people. It is still the nation's most populous state.
For over thirty years, California has seen more people leave than move in from other states, state officials said, with 6.1 million people moving out and 4.9 million coming in last year. Immigration and births kept California growing, but the state saw a shrink in international migration in 2020 due to COVID and the White House's hold on visas.
Of the steady flow of ex-Californians moving to other states, more are moving to Texas than any other state. Many are relocating to Austin, which has been labeled a "little California" by billionaire resident Elon Musk and continues to grow astronomically.
Meanwhile, California cities including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose and San Francisco saw a population decline.
With immigration and state migration on the decline, the Golden State was also hit with a spike in deaths- 51,000 people died from COVID in 2020, and all but seven of the state's counties saw death rates higher than the three-year average.
Still, the California Department of Finance said a "slightly positive annual growth" can be expected next year as the state recovers from COVID deaths and political repercussions.
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