Please note that the article below is intended purely for distributing information regarding the coronavirus vaccine resources in the Austin area. Remember to consult your doctor or local medical authority for health advice.
COVID-19 managed to derail 2020 for all of us but 2021 has brought a ray of hope with the arrival of the coronavirus vaccine. Many states began rolling out the vaccinations in December and it is becoming more and more widely available as the weeks go by.
About The Vaccine
Two vaccines have Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA: Moderna and Pfizer BioNTech. Both of these vaccines are two dose regimens with a recommended gap of 4-6 weeks for Moderna and 3-6 weeks for Pfizer. In clinical trials, both vaccines have shown that they are very effective in preventing COVID-19. Read more about the vaccines at the CDC website here.
Current Eligibility In Texas
Those eligible to get the vaccine fall under the following approved categories:
- 1A – Essential front-line health care workers and residents at long-term care facilities
- 1B – People 65+ or people 16+ with a health condition that increases risk of severe COVID?19 illness, including but not limited to:
- Chronic kidney disease
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Down Syndrome
- Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
- Organ transplantation
- Sickle cell disease
- Type 2 diabetes
Where And How You Can Get The Coronavirus Vaccine in Austin
There are four primary ways you can get the vaccine. You can get it through Vaccine Hubs, through Community Vaccine Providers, Hospital Systems or through Pharmacies. Below are some more details about each source.
- Vaccine Hubs: Register with the large hubs (list below) in your area by providing your email information. Vaccines are given based on the order of registrations. Typically, emails are sent with invitations to schedule a vaccination.
Helpful Tip: Find out when weekly emails go out for your hub. Most hubs send out emails at the beginning of the week. Watch for your email at that time and be ready to click, enter your information and schedule a time slot. Refresh the page if you are unable to find a time slot.
- Community Vaccine Providers: Local providers, such as pharmacies and doctor’s offices may have the vaccine available. Check the Texas COVID 19 Vaccine Availability map to find providers near you. Their websites should provide additional information on how to sign up for the vaccine.
- Hospital Systems: City hospitals have received doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. To get scheduled, create a myChart for all the large hospitals in Austin. myChart is a page that gives you access to your health information including medications, test results, immunizations as well as communications with your care team. Hospital systems will allow you to schedule a vaccine once you have created this health chart in their system. Here some mychart links to the larger hospitals in the area:
Helpful Tip: If you regularly see a specialty doctor, she/he may be able to schedule the vaccine for you.
- Pharmacies: Several nationwide pharmacies and stores now have the vaccine and allow online registration and scheduling.
- Walmart: https://www.walmart.com/cp/1228302
- Sam’s Club: https://www.samsclub.com/pharmacy
- CVS: https://www.cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine
- Kroger: https://www.kroger.com/rx/guest/get-vaccinated
- H-E-B: https://vaccine.heb.com/
- Good Neighbor: https://www.wearegnp.com/covid19#vaccine
- Walgreens: https://www.walgreens.com/topic/promotion/covid-vaccine.jsp?
- Tom Thumb: https://www.tomthumb.com/pharmacy/covid-19.
Helpful Tip: Slots at pharmacies in large metroplexes get filled up quickly. It is easier to find appointments if you look early in the morning. Appointments are easier to schedule if the pharmacy is an hour or two outside a large metroplex area – so you can improve your chances if you are prepared to drive! Remember to refresh the webpage multiple times if slots look unavailable.
Social Media Support
Community groups in Facebook and NextDoor have provided a platform for individuals to share their successes, frustrations, and learnings as they navigate the road towards getting vaccinated. Join these groups to read and share your experience in getting the COVID-19 vaccine in the Austin area. Here is one group on Facebook that has helped many in Houston: Vaccinate Houston – Covid-19 Vaccine Updates.
Not Eligible Yet But Still Interested In Getting The Vaccine?
If you are not currently eligible but still would like to get vaccinated, here are some ways you can get the shot:
- Leftover Doses: There are a limited number of doses in each vaccine vial which, once opened, cannot be stored again for future use.
- Many have found success trying their luck at vaccination sites at the end of the day to take leftover doses that would otherwise have been wasted.
- Others have called pharmacies that are currently vaccinating and have left their information behind on a waitlist to be contacted in case there are no-shows.
- Websites like vaxstandby.com are also working to connect vaccination hosts with interested individuals in their zip code for extra available doses to avoid wastage.
- Large hubs vaccinate several thousand a day and it takes many healthcare professionals, community essential workers like firemen and police officers as well as committed volunteers to run a smooth operation. Several hubs offer vaccinations to volunteers for their safety, hard work and dedication, so do your turn to serve your community and get vaccinated while you’re at it!
We hope this information is helpful if you are trying to get the coronavirus vaccine in Austin. Here’s hoping we all have a healthier, happier and more normal 2021!
Please keep in mind that this article is for information regarding the coronavirus vaccine resources in the Austin area. Remember to consult your doctor or local medical authority for advice.
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