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Vaccine effort continues in Travis County with focus on first doses

Thursday, February 3, 2022 by Seth Smalley

The Travis County Commissioners Court held a regular briefing Tuesday on the county’s response to Covid-19 and its ongoing vaccine distribution efforts. Several representatives spoke on behalf of independent and governmental organizations, including Central Texas Allied Health Institute, the County Constable’s Office and the FUSE program, which are partnering with the county.

“The goal of the mobile vaccine team is to continue to offer barrier-free vaccines, outreach and education to our most vulnerable ZIP codes and hard-to-reach populations,” Precinct 4 Constable George Morales said. The program delivered 8,388 shots in January and 1,408 last week, according to Morales.

Commissioner Brigid Shea had high praise for the team, saying,“8,388 vaccines for the month of January for a population that has been frightened and not trusting the government and, you know, horribly affected by Covid? … I really want to continue to shout out and call attention to the amazing work that you all are doing.”

Additionally, Central Texas Allied Health Institute has vaccinated about 144 people over the last week, according to Todd Hamilton, CTAHI president.

The vaccine outreach is part of a continued effort to “meet people where they are” in the Eastern Crescent of Travis County. Delivering first-dose vaccines is a priority for many of the organizations.

“When we did the things that we used to do, we missed a whole lot of people,” Commissioner Jeffrey Travillion said. “And I think because we’ve been in neighborhoods, because we’ve been in communities, because we’ve reached out consistently over a period of months, this continues to grow. But I want to make sure that it is not just for testing and for vaccines, but that we have a sustained, consistent effort to address health issues across the board, because this is a part of the community that oftentimes is made to feel ashamed when it comes in for public services and public resources.”

The ZIP codes targeted by the mobile vaccine team are 78758, 78753, 78724, and 78721, among others. Vaccines can be found without appointments at three different JD’s Supermarkets, Delco Activity Center, African American Youth Harvest Foundation, Pfluger Hall, Old Sims Elementary School, Huston-Tillotson University, La Michoacana Meat Market, El Rancho Supermarket, and La Finca Supermarket. Find dates, times and locations of vaccine programs here.

Due to winter weather, officials raised the possibility that drive-thru vaccine operations will be canceled this weekend.

“Depending on weather, it may be that we need to either limit the hours of operation or cancel altogether. We will make that decision as late in the week as possible but no later than Friday,” Chuck Brotherton, with Travis County Emergency Services, said.

Photo made available through a Creative Commons license.

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