The Austin Chronicle

First COVID-19 Vaccine Administered in Austin

By Beth Sullivan, December 15, 2020, 4:20pm, Newsdesk

This morning the first doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in Austin were administered to frontline healthcare workers at UT-Austin, confirmed Dr. Amy Young, vice dean of professional practice at Dell Medical School and chief clinical officer for UT Health Austin.

The clinical practice for Dell Med, UT Health Austin was one of only four sites in Texas to receive a share of the state’s first vaccine shipment – nearly 3,000 out of 19,500 doses – delivered yesterday alongside Houston’s MD Cancer Center, UT Health San Antonio, and Methodist Dallas Medical Center. UT Health Austin’s distribution will continue for nine days, shared campus officials in a Tuesday press call. “It's recommended that folks that work in the same critical areas are not vaccinated on the same day or successive day,” said Young, who explained staggering distribution over several days is important as some side effects are common. “We want to make sure that our health workforce is strong, and make sure that we wouldn't take out a whole group of individuals that happened to have a body reaction or side effect.”

An additional 19 sites in Texas will receive 75,075 doses today, though none of those sites are in the Austin area. In addition to UT Health Austin, seven other providers in Travis County are slated to receive the remaining 10,725 initial doses destined for the Austin area within the next week. In all, Texas is set to receive approximately 224,250 doses as part of its first week's vaccine allocation, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

See more in this week’s issue, online and on newsstands Thursday.

Editor's note: This story has been updated since publication to clarify that the vaccines received by UT Health Austin are for frontline healthcare workers for the entire UT-Austin campus, not UT Health Austin staff.

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