AUSTIN, Texas - Texas will receive its biggest allotment of COVID-19 vaccine doses this week, by far, as state health officials credit the increase in vaccinations for a drop in COVID-related hospitalizations.
2.5 million doses of the vaccine are headed for Texas over the course of this week. It will be distributed to more than 2,000 providers across the state. Travis County is set to receive nearly 51,000 doses across more than 100 providers. That includes just 13,500 doses headed to Austin Public Health. Williamson County will get nearly 22,000 doses, with a little more than 13,000 doses headed for providers in Hays County.
If you are hoping to get a vaccine through Austin Public Health this week, appointments will be released online to childcare providers and educators from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday. More appointments will be allotted to those folks as well as anyone 40 and older, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday. If available, additional appointments will be released from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday. Those in groups 1A, 1B, and 1C are also eligible during those times. For more information, visit austintexas.gov/covid19-vaccines.
This marks the second week that anyone 16 and older is eligible to get a vaccine in Texas. As it stands now, more than 4.3 million Texans are now fully vaccinated, with 7.8 million people having received at least one dose. Notably, nearly half of Texas seniors are fully vaccinated, and nearly two-thirds of that population have gotten their first dose.
Officials with the Department of State Health Services stress that vaccination has been key in driving down hospitalization numbers. Across Texas, there were just over 2,800 people in hospitals with COVID on Saturday. That is the lowest number since June of last year. Austin and Travis County have also seen a decrease in the number of people in the hospital with COVID, but local health officials caution we’re not out of the woods yet.
State health officials also say vaccines are crucial in combatting new COVID variants.