AUSTIN, Texas - Austin Public Health rolled out its pre-registration portal for the COVID-19 vaccine on their website officially on Wednesday, welcome news to the Travis County residents.
If you have already been tested for COVID-19 by APH, you can use your same login credentials.
"We've had over 20,000 that have signed up with accounts, as you know we only received 12,000 doses," said Stephanie Hayden, director of Austin Public Health.
That means at least 8,000 of the people who signed up will not be able to receive the vaccine. APH is only inoculating those who fall in the 1a and 1b groups, as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention. APH is urging everyone to be patient.
"Vaccine still has to be made, still has to be shipped, it still has to be stored and those things take time," said Dr. Mark Escott, interim health authority with Austin Public Health.
Earlier this week, the Texas Department of State Health Services identified Austin Public Health among 27 others as vaccine hubs getting thousands of doses. Places like Bexar County have already begun using large sites like the Alamodome for mass vaccination events. APH as of right now only discloses locations to patients.
"We have used several sites and we are ready to establish smaller scale as well as large scale events, we even have the ability to do drive-through locations," said Hayden.
Additionally, the alternate care site at the convention center is open, and today accepted its first handful of patients. "That fact alone that we are housing patients and taking care of them in the convention center, that our hospitals are overwhelmed, that should drive home how serious we are with this situation," said Dr. Jason Pickett, alternate health authority.
While the vaccine slowly rolls out, health officials advise all to not let up on social distancing, mask-wearing and hand washing.
"While we are all frustrated about the number of vaccines we have available we have something else that works very well, and it's those protective measures," said Escott.
To learn information about getting a vaccine, APH advises contacting your primary care physician first. If you are not insured, click here.