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Making up for lost time: APH puts in more hours to vaccinate more people
(Austin Regional Clinic)

Travis County's COVID-19 operations are playing catch-up on a week's worth of canceled vaccine appointments.

Austin Public Health's vaccine and testing appointments were halted for over 7 days due to the historic winter storm that swept over Texas. By the time operations resumed on Sunday, APH had 7,000 first doses and 7,500 second doses unused from the week of Feb. 7 as well as 12,000 second doses from Feb. 14 to catch up on; 3,300 patients had appointments canceled starting Feb. 13.


While about 1,000 doses of the vaccine were lost in Texas, Austin Public Health Director Stephanie Hayden-Howard said that no vaccine doses were lost during the weeklong winter storm in Austin even as locations lost power.

"In one of our locations the power and the backup generator went out," Hayden-Howard said. "Thank goodness to the EMS and Fire Department folks. They were able to pick up our staff and get us to where we were able to move all of our vaccines."

As the department looks to recover, APH has extended hours and days of operation for its current locations. APH is still prioritizing those looking to get second doses, although the CDC has recently said that second doses are still effective no matter the time in between vaccinations.

Normal operations at all of APH's sites resumed on Monday. Hayden-Howard said that APH will be able to complete 37,000 vaccinations this week. Those whose appointments were canceled will be contacted by email or phone to reschedule.

Hayden-Howard said she understands the week ahead will be difficult but that the department will make sure everyone receives their missed doses.

"We understand this week is going to be challenging because we are essentially folding in everyone from last week," Hayden-Howard said. I know we're always asking for patience, but we're just wanting folks to know that we will provide your vaccine to you."

Travis County Judge Andy Brown and three other area judges have teamed up to plan the Austin area's first-ever mass vaccination event this weekend. More information on the upcoming project can be found here.

The department has currently distributed 56,000 total COVID-19 vaccines.

Before the winter storm, many became frustrated that second doses were not being shipped into the county on schedule. The Texas Department of Health and Human Services has responded by stating it will automatically ship second doses four weeks after the first dose is distributed in order to ease scheduling issues. The state determines how many second doses will be given to APH.

Because of the weeklong interruption, the COVID data collected during the winter storm may not accurately reflect the community's actual state of emergency. As a result, the city will not change its risk-based guidelines from Stage 4 restrictions that were in place before the winter storm.

Hayden-Howard announced that a new website has also been created for Central Texas vaccine information. The website was partially created by Travis County staff and will provide information on vaccination hubs, vaccine providers and volunteer opportunities.

Popular

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