The Texas Department of State Health Services notified vaccine providers that they should resume using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to a Saturday press release. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee ruled Friday that the vaccine's benefits outweigh its risks after a thorough safety review.
"We know some Texans prefer the simplicity of a single-dose vaccine, and the ease of storing and handling this vaccine gives providers more flexibility," DSHS Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt said in a statement. "Resuming the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will prevent hospitalizations and save lives in Texas."
CDC and @US_FDA lift recommended pause on Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) #COVID19 vaccine use following thorough safety review. See full statement: https://t.co/yTTGfGsgSHpic.twitter.com/1kYETjWUgJ
— CDC (@CDCgov) April 23, 2021
Federal agencies paused use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on April 13 after six rare but serious cases of blood clots were identified, among more than 7.2 million recipients. Since the pause, an additional seven cases were reported. Most of the cases were among women ages 18 to 49, who experiences symptoms starting one to two weeks after vaccination.
Although some public health experts worried that the pause could fuel vaccine hesitancy, others felt that it would demonstrate the efficacy and transparency of safety protocols.
Now that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is cleared for use, DSHS expects the federal government will make doses available as soon as this weekend, which could increase the state's weekly allocation.
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A big-money bird has been stolen from a northwest Austin pet store.
Kelsey Fernandez, the owner of a $6,000 sulphur and citron-crested cockatoo named Lemon Grab, said the emotional support animal was taken from the Gallery of Pets store, around closing time on Sunday.
"I've struggled with mental illness my entire life, and ever since I got him I've been doing so much better," Fernandez told Austonia.
The $6k cockatoo is young and will starve unless he is fed by hand, Fernandez said.
In a surveillance video, a man appears to have something under his shirt as he and two others exit the business around the same time the store believes that Lemon Grab was stolen.
Fernandez said a report has been filed with the Austin Police Department with an $1,000 reward for his return.
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Introverts and personal space lovers may not want to make the move to Austin anytime soon: The Texas capital saw a bigger increase in one-bedroom rent prices than almost any other U.S. city in April, according to a Rent.com report.
Austin's one-bedroom rent has more than doubled—a 112% increase—from April 2021 to 2022, the report said. Only Oklahoma City saw a higher year-over-year increase with a 133% jump.
Austin also had the fourth-highest increase in two-bedroom rent, with a 50% increase in the past year. The city joined a nationwide trend where rents were up 8.3% year-over-year across the U.S, a trend exacerbated by a 6.2% increase in inflation in the same time period.
But "not everyone is experiencing inflation the same way," Redfin Deputy Chief Economist Taylor Marr said in the report, and a brunt of the load has gone to cities with more move-ins. While over 90% of state rental markets increased in the last year, that jump was seen most in Sun Belt states, including Texas, Arizona and Florida.
Even with breakneck increases in rent, however, Austin's rent prices still haven't cracked the top 10: the city's one-bedroom apartments are the 12th most expensive in the nation with an average price of $2,918. Meanwhile, its two-bedrooms fall behind Texas cities Frisco, Dallas and Plano and come out 34th on the list with a $2,302 average monthly rent.
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