Austin-Travis County health officials say Covid vaccine data shows more work to be done
More than three-quarters of people 65 and older in Austin-Travis County are fully vaccinated, public health officials said Tuesday. For the entire eligible population – that is, people aged 12 and over – the number is over 54%.
The area remains in Stage 2 of Austin Public Health’s risk-based guidelines, and the city’s medical director said projections from the UT Austin Covid-19 Modeling Consortium show that this is probably the case for a while.
Dr Desmar Walkes said part of this was because masks are no longer needed in most places and life is slowly returning to normal before the summer months.
âThere was a feeling that we are at the end of this (pandemic). We’re not, âWalkes said at a joint session of Austin City Council and Travis County commissioners, noting that getting a free vaccine has never been easier.
Adrienne Stirrup, acting director of APH, said data on vaccination rates disaggregated by race and ethnicity shows that there is still a lot of work to be done.
âWe always see numbers that need to improve in the black and African American community,â she said.
There has been an increase in immunization rates in this population after Austin Public Health’s partnership with faith groups. Stirrup says the health department plans to hold several vaccination events on Friday and Saturday before the June 17th vacation.
4 Station Constable George Morales, who has led much of the work done by the County Vaccine Mobile Team, says the focus continues to be on awareness and education so that ” when our teams are there, they can be more successful â.
As part of this work, they are organizing an event on Saturday at the Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex from 9 am to 1 pm that will be “strictly 100% educational”.
âIt’s a scary process because some people just aren’t familiar with what we have going on,â Morales said. âWe are working to reach hard-to-reach areas – those people who lack transportation, Wi-Fi, access to technology. These are the areas we focus on and care about. “
Travis County officials will continue to offer Pfizer vaccines over the weekend at the Travis County Expo Center, as long as there is demand. More than 1,300 shots were administered at the drive-thru last weekend.
This story was produced as part of the Austin Monitorreporting partnership with KUT.
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