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Seven providers in Travis County will receive vaccine doses starting Monday, following the allocation patterns of the last few weeks.
- Austin Public Health (12,000 doses)
- UT Health Austin (1,950 doses)
- CommUnity Care North Central (200 doses)
- CommUnity Care Rundberg (200 doses)
- CommUnity Care South Austin (200 doses)
- H-E-B Pharmacy William Cannon (100 doses)
- Lone Star Circle of Care at Jonestown (100 doses)
Although these providers may have doses to administer next week, many are limiting their supply to existing patient networks or reaching out to eligible candidates directly, rather than working through a waitlist system. View a list of providers with a waitlist here.
Austin Public Health, one of two designated hub providers in Travis County along UT Health, the clinical wing of Dell Medical School, is prioritizing residents who are 65 years of age or older.
With the latest allocation of 14,750 doses being sent to Travis County this week, the county will have received 119,025 doses overall. Local public health officials estimate that there are 285,000 area residents who fall in the 1A and 1B priority groups, meaning that around 42% of them should have access to doses two months into the rollout process.
As of Thursday, 71,035 Travis County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine and 18,491 residents have received both doses, according to Texas Department of State Health Services data.
Nine Travis County providers reported a total 161 wasted doses, according to a report released by DSHS on Friday. Providers are required to self-report why doses were not administered, with local providers citing freezers that were too warm, mechanical failures and spoiled vaccines.
Overall, DSHS reports that fewer than 0.1% of doses have been wasted. The department is reaching out to providers that reported wasted doses to ensure they follow proper storage and handling procedures.
DSHS will allocate 520,425 initial doses of the COVID vaccine to 344 providers across the state this week, with the bulk assigned to hub providers that are focused on widespread community distribution events.
This allocation represents a 56% increase compared to last week's, which DSHS attributed to two factors: a 30% increase in the number of Moderna doses being provided to Texas by the federal government and a one-time return of 126,750 doses of the Pfizer vaccine that the state set aside as part of a federal program for long-term care residents. The program overestimated the number of doses needed, so some are being returned to the states that provided them.
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Matthew McConaughey is reportedly weighing a run for Texas governor in 2022.
The Austin resident and Oscar winner has been "quietly making calls to influential people in Texas political circles, including a deep-pocketed moderate Republican and energy CEO" as he decides whether to run, according to Politico.
McConaughey said a gubernatorial run is "a true consideration" while on a March episode of Houston's "The Balanced Voice" podcast.
Although most political strategists doubt McConaughey's commitment and viability as a candidate, some are still intrigued by the possibility.
"I find it improbable, but it's not out of the question," Karl Rove, a top Republican strategist with a long history in Austin, told the political news site. He added that the big question is whether McConaughey would run as a Republican, a Democrat or an independent.
Brendan Steinhauser, an Austin-based GOP strategist, told Politico he's surprised McConaughey isn't being taken more seriously. "Celebrity in this country counts for a lot," he said. "It's not like some C-list actor no one likes. He has an appeal."
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott plans to run for a third term and remains popular among Republican voters, 77% of whom approve of his performance as of April, according to the Texas Politics Project.
Some strategists believe an independent McConaughey run would benefit Abbott. But a recent poll from The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler found that McConaughey would beat Abbott, 45% to 33%, with 22% opting for someone else.
Mimi Swartz, an executive editor at Texas Monthly, mulled a McConaughey run in a recent opinion essay from the New York Times. "Texas may not be ready for a philosopher king as a candidate, much less governor," she wrote. "May the best man win, man."
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Some JuiceLand production facility workers and storefront employees are organizing to demand wage increases, better working conditions (including air conditioning in the warehouse) and pay transparency, among other asks. They are also calling on staff to strike and customers to boycott the Austin-based company until their demands are met.
JuiceLand responded on Saturday. "We are listening," the company wrote on their Instagram story. "JuiceLand crew now makes guaranteed $15 an hour or more companywide."
JuiceLand, which was founded in 2001 by Matt Shook and now has 35 locations in Austin, Houston and Dallas, acknowledged the rising cost of living across Texas and the added stress of the pandemic in an email to employees on Saturday, part of which @juicelandworkersrights shared on social media. "There's no denying that times are tough and financial security means more now than ever," the company wrote.
Organized JuiceLand workers rejected this proposal, according to a recent post on the @juicelandworkersrights Instagram account, and reiterated their demands.
"Cost of living in Austin is rising exponentially and will only continue to get worse with the tech boom," the post read. "$15 is barely a sustainable living."