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(Austin Fire Department/Twitter)

Distribution of the new COVID-19 vaccines began nearly two weeks ago and the effort continues—the Austin Fire Department, Police Department and long-term care facilities started receiving the vaccines as of today.


According to Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott, Austin is still moving steadily through Phase 1A of distribution and reaching those who are at most risk first.

AFD vaccinated more than 300 employees today, using the Moderna vaccine, a start to the 1,300 doses that have been scheduled for this week.

CVS and Walgreens pharmacies partnered with the federal government earlier this year, opting to administer the vaccines to long-term care facilities, which are at the bottom of the list for Phase 1A.

Distribution officially started Monday and CVS plans to vaccinate 275,000 staff and residents at 2,000 facilities over the next 12 weeks in Texas. See the full list of facilities here.

Once all the Phase 1A groups have received a sufficient amount of doses, distribution will move to Phase 1B, which will extend the groups in 1A and prioritize people 65 years or older, and those under 16 who are at extreme risk.

However, Phase 1B might be a ways out. Distribution to long-term care facilities is slated to take up the next three months. So far, Travis County has administered 6,940 total vaccines.

On the bright side, the ball is rolling. In a press conference today, Escott said he expects to see more widespread public distribution begin around March or April.

"As we start to increase the percentage of individuals over the age of 65 and those who have underlying health conditions, the threat of COVID-19 in the spring starts to diminish very quickly," Escott said.

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