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(Bob Daemmrich)

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is threatening legal action against the City of Austin and Travis County if leadership does not comply with Gov. Greg Abbott's decision to lift the statewide mask mandate, which went into effect today.

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Central Texans line up at a drive-through clinic for COVID-19 vaccines at Kelly Athletic Stadium in Round Rock. (Bob Daemmrich)

Westlake-area resident Joan Skerry said she and her sister were excited to receive their first Moderna COVID-19 vaccines at a First Medical Response of Texas pop-up clinic on Jan. 2, held in the Dripping Springs Fire Department's parking lot. However, when their second shot deadline came and went last Saturday, Skerry feared the two would have to start the vaccine regimen anew.

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A newer coronavirus strain, said to be more contagious, was reported in the Austin-Travis County area by the state health department.

Lab-tested by a private local testing organization, the Texas Department of State Health Services and Austin Public Health report it is the first confirmed case of the UK variant of the virus in Austin. However, officials say it is possible this variant has been in the community longer.

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(Pexels file photo)

Now a few months into the vaccine distribution effort, Austin-based Benchmark Research is working toward developing a COVID-19 vaccine safety trial for children ranging from ages six months to 11 years old.

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