100% Austin news, info, and entertainment, straight to your inbox at 6 a.m. every morning.
In five minutes, you're fully informed and ready to start another great day in our city.
The Texas super crisis continues amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, delaying vaccine shipments and leading to cancelled appointments. However, Austinites can expect delayed allocations and appointments to resume early next week, followed by an increased weekly allocation, according to the Texas Department of Health Services. Around 25% of this week's allocation remains in out-of-state warehouses awaiting shipment due to the inclement weather; the doses are expected to ship out in the first half of next week, followed by next week's allocation.
Twenty-seven providers in Travis County will receive a total of 31,250 vaccine doses for the week of Feb. 22 as part of the 11th weekly allocation, with the bulk going to hub provider Austin Public Health, whose COVID testing sites and vaccine clinics have been closed since last Saturday due to inclement weather.
- Austin Public Health (12,000 doses)
- DSHS Central Pharmacy Warehouse (6,100 doses)
- UT Health Austin (5,850 doses)
- Seton Medical Center (3,000 doses)
- Austin Ear Nose and Throat Clinic (500 doses)
- WellMed Ben White (400 doses)
- CommUnityCare Rundberg (300 doses)
- CommUnityCare ARCH (200 doses)
- CommUnityCare Sandra Joy Anderson (200 doses)
- CommUnityCare William Cannon (200 doses)
- CommUnityCare Hornsby Bend Health Center (200 doses)
- CommUnityCare North Central (200 doses)
- CommUnityCare South Austin (200 doses)
- Lone Star Circle of Care at El Buen Samaritano (200 doses)
- Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation (200 doses)
- Refugee Services (200 doses)
- CommUnityCare Southeast Health and Wellness Clinic (200 doses)
- CommUnityCare Del Valle (200 doses)
- Fresenius Medical Care (100 doses)
- Carousel Pediatrics William Cannon (100 doses)
- Lone Star Circle of Care at Collinfield (100 doses)
- Lone Star Circle of Care at Ben White (100 doses)
- Lone Star Circle of Care Family Care Center (100 doses)
- People's Community Clinic (100 doses)
- Encompass Health of Austin (100 doses)
- Victory Medical and Family Care (100 doses)
- Manor Pharmacy (100 doses)
As of Friday, most health care providers remain severely constrained by the power crisis, water crisis or both.
APH does not yet know when vaccine operations will resume, but the department will reach out to those whose appointments have been canceled with a new time, date and location. The department also tweeted out that it would be working on a larger scale than before once operations restart with extended hours.
Currently, second dose appointments are the priority. "While they may be several days between the time your appointment is canceled and your new appointment information is sent, it is important to remember that there is flexibility allowed between doses without losing effectiveness," Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott said in a statement Thursday. The CDC recommends that providers administer the second dose as close to the recommended interval as possible (three weeks for Pfizer, four for Moderna), but in cases where that is not possible the agency advises it may be given up to six weeks after the first shot.
UT Health Austin, the clinical wing of Dell Medical School and the other hub provider in Travis County, canceled vaccine appointments through Friday and are asking appointment holders to return next week during specific times according to the schedule listed below:
(UT Health Austin)
People with vaccine appointments at UT Health Austin next week should arrive as planned.
CommUnity Care East Austin also canceled appointments through Friday due to the inclement weather. "We will reach out to you to reschedule any appointments missed," the community clinic network tweeted Friday.
Although the remaining providers may have doses to administer next week, many are limiting their supply to existing patient waitlists or reaching out to eligible candidates directly. View a list of providers with a waitlist here. Note that the DSHS Central Pharmacy Warehouse does not serve the general public.
With this latest allocation, Travis County will have received 186,975 doses overall. Local public health officials estimate that there are 285,000 area residents who fall in the 1A and 1B priority groups.
As of midday Friday, 109,252 Travis County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine and 48,327 residents have received both doses, according to Texas Department of State Health Services data.
DSHS will allocate 591,920 initial doses of the COVID vaccine to 563 providers across the state this week, focusing on hub providers capable of widespread community distribution as well as smaller providers serving older adults. This represents a 45% increase compared to last week's allocation and includes 84,240 doses for large-scale FEMA vaccine clinics in Harris, Dallas and Tarrant counties.
In addition to the first shot allocations, Texas has ordered 364,830 doses intended for second shots. DSHS advises Texans waiting for their second dose to "rest assured" knowing that their appointments will be rescheduled. "Even if they receive the second dose outside of the recommended six-week time frame, they will get the full protection of the second dose and will not need an additional booster shot," according to a Friday DSHS press release.
- Everything we know about Austin's COVID vaccine rollout - austonia ›
- UT professor played role in Pfizer and Moderna's COVID vaccines ... ›
- A 'handful' of ineligible people got the COVID vaccine in Austin ... ›
- Austin healthcare offering COVID-19 vaccine waitlists - austonia ›
- Complete guide to 5-county Austin-area COVID vaccine providers - austonia ›
- COVID-19 vaccines resume in Austin after weather emergency - austonia ›
- Travis County to vaccinate 3k at COTA drive-thru event - austonia ›
- Will the US reach herd immunity by April? Experts disagree - austonia ›
- Austin Public Health will release 4k COVID vaccine slots - austonia ›
- Austin Public Health will release 4k COVID vaccine slots - austonia ›
- Austin Public Health will release extra COVID vaccine slots - austonia ›
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday that Texas will opt out of further federal unemployment benefits related to the pandemic effective June 26, citing the number of current job openings and concern about potentially fraudulent unemployment claims. The benefits include a $300 weekly supplement.
"The Texas economy is booming and employers are hiring communities across the state," Abbott said in a statement. "According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the number of job openings in Texas is almost identical to the number of Texans who are receiving unemployment jobs."
TWC listed 837,273 job openings as of Monday afternoon compared to 226,849 unemployment insurance claims filed statewide between March 31 and May 1. An estimated 1 million Texans were unemployed as of March, according to latest estimates released by the state agency.
Some local business owners, including Doc's Backyard Grill owner Charles Milligan, suspect unemployment benefits are deterring Austinites from returning to work. But others agree with economists who say multiple factors are at play, including health concerns and child care availability.
We're seeing lots of posts about how nobody wants to work right now. Just wanted to share our experience.
We received over 60 resumes for a taproom bartender position we posted last week. Every applicant we've set up an interview with has shown up.
People want 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥 work.
— Austin Beerworks (@AustinBeerworks) May 11, 2021
Abbott also cited fraudulent unemployment claims. Between March 2020 and April 2021, TWC received 4.48 million unemployment benefit applications, 611,000 or around 14% of which were tagged as suspicious. Most of those tagged were blocked before any benefits were paid out, according to an April 29 press release.
Federal law requires the effective date of such benefits change to be at least 30 days after the U.S. Department of Labor is notified.
- Reopening Austin offices plan for one-way foot traffic, sanitizing ... ›
- Buc-ee's avoids national workers shortage with benefits - austonia ›
- Austin restaurants struggle to hire workers after pandemic year ... ›
Is it just us, or is the current Austin mask situation confusing? Are we supposed to wear a mask or not, and where? And should we wear one anyway, even if not requested or required?
Austin health orders requiring masks expire Tuesday. What then?
Take our three-question quiz, and tell us what you're thinking.