Austin, Texas – Yesterday, Feb. 9, Austin Public Health (APH) received the second dose shipment for people who got their first dose through APH the week of Jan. 11.
APH has started contacting those people by email or phone with information on second dose appointments. Staff will work through the weekend to continue scheduling. Appointments are required for both doses and walk-ups will not be accepted.
“We want to address the anxiety and frustration about second doses by assuring everyone that we are working diligently to get booster shots scheduled and administered as soon as we have them delivered,” said APH Director Stephanie Hayden-Howard. “We have staff who have been tirelessly working the emergency response, keeping our cases comparatively lower than other metropolitan areas.”
While the second dose should be administered as close to the recommended interval as possible, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released guidance that allows for second doses to be administered up to six weeks, or 42 days, after the first dose.
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has also reiterated the six-week timeline and is working with providers to order second doses 7-14 days after receipt of the first dose shipment. APH is ensuring that our second doses are ordered on a timely basis.
“When a physician prescribes medication, it typically requires you to take it on a stringent timeline, that is not the case with the COVID-19 booster shots,” said Dr. Mark Escott, Interim Austin-Travis County Health Authority. “There is some flexibility allowed between doses without diminishing efficacy.”
Escott added: “Studies of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines indicate that immunity following the first dose is approximately 50% when evaluated up to 14 days following the first dose of the vaccine. For Moderna, which is what APH is administering, the efficacy for the single-dose when evaluated more than 14 days after the first dose was 92.1%. While this represents a small group of 2,000 individuals studied, it does provide reassurance that the effectiveness of the first dose improves with time.”
- As of Feb. 9, more than 580,000 have created accounts in APH’s online portal, with 286,000 people pre-registered for the vaccine. Of those who are pre-registered, there are 217,000 people eligible to receive the vaccine, and 181,000 eligible without a first dose appointment.
- For those 181,000 who are currently eligible and waiting to receive a first dose appointment, we have received your vaccine pre-registration. However, due to the limited supply of vaccine, APH is not able to immediately provide appointments for everyone eligible. Please continue to check the registration portal.
- For those who are currently not eligible in the system, we have received your vaccine pre-registration. APH will notify you when you are eligible to receive the vaccine.
For additional COVID-19 information and updates, visit www.AustinTexas.gov/COVID19.