COVID-19 in Central Texas. Vaccines, boosters, testing, stages & more

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Photo credit gopixa Getty Images

Keeping track of the latest on COVID-19 across Central Texas. Updates on vaccines, boosters, testing and more info you need to know.

Update 5/24/22:
CDC's health alert about COVID-19 rebound after Paxlovid Treatment. (5/24/22)

Important information to have from APH with cases rising nationwide.

COVID-19 risk assessment for public events.

APH vaccine events. Find out where and when!

COVID-19 National / State Info:

COVID-19 ToolKit with resources to keep yourself and others safe from COVID-19. One-stop COVID resource site. COVID.gov (3/30/22)

CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / COVID-19
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FDA United States Food and Drug Administration / COVID-19
Facebook Twitter

HHS - Department of Health and Human Services / COVID-19
Facebook Twitter

Texas DSHS Texas Department of State Health Services / COVID-19
Facebook Twitter Stop the Spread

CDC / GOV / COVID-19 411:
Basics of COVID-19
Variants of the Virus Variants classifications & definitions
Info you need to know
COVID-19 Data Tracker COVID-19 by County Community Levels Map
Quarantine & Isolation (calculator) Q&As
Travel requirements / Travel recommendations (updated 4/18/22)
TSA response Travel mask mandate was extended to May 3rd!
A Florida Federal Judge voids it! CDC continues to strongly recommend wearing a mask on public transportation. 4 / 18/22

COVID-19 Testing 411:
Free N95 Masks! Many of these pharmacies are participating in the free N95 masks program. 3 masks per person. A good mask helps you and others avoid COVID!

With #COVID19 cases and hospitalizations rising the past couple of weeks, round 3 Covid-19 home tests are up for grabs. 8 of them. If you haven't gotten round 1 or 2, you can grab those too. Total of 16 per household https://www.covid.gov/tests (5/17/22)

FDA authorized the first direct-to-consumer test that allows a person to self-collect a nasal swab sample at home and send that sample to Labcorp for testing without a doctor's prescription. The test can identify flu , RSV and COVID-19. Results are given online with a follow-up from a health care provier for positive or invalid test results. (5/15/22)

Test to Treat Plan A person who tests positive for COVID-19 can be treated with FDA -approved antiviral pills for free. Sites are expected to be open soon. March was mentioned. Find Test to Treat locations

Austin Public Health

Metz Elementary School / E. ATX testing site. Open Tuesdays - Saturdays from 11a-7p at 84 Robert T Martinez Jr St.
Testing is also available at other sites around Austin, including pharmacies, hospitals, and urgent care centers.

NOMI Health Pre- registration is an option. Results within 15 minutes via text message for antigen tests and 24 to 48 hours for PCR tests.

Where to get COVID-19 Testing / DO512
Find a COVID-19 Testing site by zip code / Google
Curative Testing  / Williamson County
Lakeline Mall parking lot / Cedar Park
Leander ISD (Gupton Stadium) Trailer
Round Rock ISD Performing Arts Center Kiosk

Sign up for 4 free COVID-19 at-home test kits. One per household. COVIDTests.gov. Ships within 7-12 days of ordering.

Insurance companies will cover up to 8 COVID-19 at-home test kits per person insured per month. Depending on the plan either no cost at point-of-purchase or save the receipt to be reimbursed. Info here Press release

Vaccine & Booster 411:

Free COVID-19 vaccine for anyone ages 5 years and up. Anyone ages 12 and up can get a free booster. No insurance required. Stay up-to-date on which vaccine and booster works for each age and when to receive them. Vaccine Safety Children & Teens Immunocompromised Unvaccinated COVID-19 Vaccination in Texas TPHVS V-Safe Lost Vax Card

Different COVID-19 Vaccines: Pfizer Bio-NTech Moderna Johnson & Johnson's Janssen (suggested not to use)

FDA released a statement about limiting the emergency use authorization of the Johnson / Janssen Covid-19 vaccine to those 18 and older due to the risk of a rare and dangerous clotting condition called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome( TTS) after receiving the vaccine. It also applies to boosters. (5/5/22)

Find a vaccine near you:
Text your ZIP code to 438829
Call 1-800-232-0233
vaccines.gov
Retail pharmacy participation Many of these pharmacies are participating in the free N95 masks program. 3 masks per person.

FDA has authorized the emergency use for a second booster of either Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for those ages 50 & up, and certain immunocompromised individuals. At least four months after their first booster shot. (3/29/22)

CDC recoommends children ages 5-11 should receive a booster shot 5 months after their initial Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination series. Also strengthening the recommendation for those 12 & older who are immunocompromised and those 50 and older should receive a second booster dose at least 4 months after their first booster. Whether it's your first or second booster, if you haven't had a vaccine dose since December 2021, now is the time. As cases increase across the country a booster dose will help restore and enhance protection against severe disease. (5/19/22)

CDC in collaboration with FDA has expanded eligibility for an additional booster dose for people 50 & up and those with underlying health conditions 4 months afterh their prior dose to increase protection. (3/29/22)

Who can get a Booster shot, what to expect & more.
Pfizer BioNTech ages 5 & up (5/19/22) / 5 months after COVID-19 vaccine series
Moderna ages 18 & up / 5 months after COVID-19 vaccine series

Johnson & Johnson ages 18 & up / 2 months after COVID-19 vaccine. FDA released a statement limiting the use.

Austin area COVID-19 vaccinations, boosters & more:
Austin ISD
Baylor Scott & White Health
Central Texas Counties Vaccine Collaborative
CommUnityCare Health Centers
CVS
H-E-B
Randall's
Sam's Club
Tarrytown Pharmacy
UT Health Austin
VAX Together Austin
Walgreens
Walmart
Where to get Booster shots

Treatment 411:

FDA approves the first treatment for COVID-19 for children younger than 12. (4/25/22)

FDA revised the emergency use authorization for Evusheld, a monoclonal antibody against Covid-19 for immunocompromised people and those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, to double the initial dose.
FDA approved Paxloid for emergency use.
FDA has approved Molnupiravir for emergency use.

Photo credit Austin Public Health

Austin Public Health
Austin / Travis County - Quick click resource guide
Facebook Twitter ATX / Travis County Dashboard Dashboards Austin 311 app

APH new COVID-19 Risk-Based Guidelines for Austin / Travis County in line with the CDC. Low, medium & high (3/29/22)

The City of Austin and Travis County have lifted all COVID-19 emergency rules and orders Masking is optional in most city facilities except clinical settings and jails. Those at high risk or provide care for others who are encouraged to continue wearing a mask indoors. Please be respectful to those wearing one.

APH How to Get Vaccinated:Everyone ages 5 years and older get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect against COVID-19 (CDC)
Shots for Tots and Big Shots

Austin Public Health is administering a 2nd booster dose of Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for those 50 & up. Also to those 12 & up who are immunocompromised for better protection against COVID-19 (3/31/22) APH recommends a 2nd booster (4/11/22)

Bastrop County:
Facebook Dashboard

Bastrop County COVID-19 vaccinations, testing and more. COVID-19 vaccine support line 1-833-832-7067. Need a ride

Caldwell County:
Facebook Lockhart

Caldwell County's COVID-19 vaccination clinic & testing information. COVID-19 FAQ

Hays County:
Twitter  Dashboard

Hays Informed for vaccines, testing and more / Curative FAQs

Williamson County:
Twitter Dashboards
WCCHD for Public Health Center Operation locations & Hours

Vaccinations for ages 5 and up! Call 512-943-3600.
Vaccine Info FAQs

Curative Vaccine  Curative sites by location
email: appointments support@curative.com or call 1- 888-702-9042.

Podcast Episode
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Vaxx and the Facts: Premonitions of the Pandemic
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Latest:

FDA has authorized the use of a single booster dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine for children ages 5-11 after 5 months from having their 2 primary vaccine doses. (5/17/20)

FDA released a statement about limiting the emergency use authorization of the Johnson / Janssen Covid-19 vaccine to those 18 and older due to the risk of a rare and dangerous clotting condition called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome( TTS) after receiving the vaccine. It also applies to boosters. (5/5/22)

Covid's toll in the U.S. reaches a once unfathomable number: 1 million deaths (according to NBC News 5/4/22)

CDC has updated COVID-19 guidance for correctional and detention facilities.
(5/3/22)

Moderna looking for appproval for COVID-19 shots for kids under age 6. Two kid doses were about 40% to 50% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19. The goal to keep little ones from getting extremely ill and out of the hospital. (4/28/22)

Florida judge voids the travel mask mandate. CDC strongly recommends wearing a mask on public transportation. (4/18/22)

The CDC has revamped the 'Do Not Travel -Levels list'. Level 4 will be for 'special circumstances / do not travel', which puts 89 countries that were level 4 to level 3 - high risk. Started today 4/18/22!

InspectIR in Frisco, TX . Their COVID breathalyzer became the first FDA-authorized breathe test for COVID-19 (4/ 18/22)

Travel mask mandate has been extended to May 3rd!

FDA is holding an advisory committee meeting on the future of COVID-19 booster doses and variant strains. (3/21)

Test to Treat Plan A person who tests positive for COVID-19 can be treated with FDA -approved antiviral pills for free. Sites are expected to be open soon. March was mentioned. (3/10)

Austin Public Health announced that Austin has moved to Stage 2 of COVID-19 Risk-Based Guidelines (3/4)

AISD is going with the newest CDC COVID-19 protocol for masking indoors starting Monday 3/7. Lifting the mask mandate. (3/2)

CDC guidance update on the recommended wait time between booster shot does for “moderately-to-severely” immunocompromised patients has been shortened from 5 months to 3 months. (2/7/22)

CDC has created a new COVID-19 Community Level system that is determined by looking at hospital beds being used, hospital admissions, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area. LOW & MEDIUM don't require wearing mask indoors. HIGH does.*People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask* (2/25)

Austin-Travis County’s first case of the BA.2 subvariant of omicron was detected. The BA.2 subvariant is 39% more transmissible than omicron. Getting vaccinated and boosted is the best protection from COVID-19 and its current variants. (2/24)

CDC vaccine guidance The interval between first and second doses of the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines may be as long as eight weeks for certain people. Extending the the time between vaccines may reduce the risk of myocarditis, a type of heart inflammation. Rare cares have been reported primarily after the 2nd dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Males ages 12 to 29 are at highest risk. (2/23)

Mask mandate for air-travel expires March 18. The largest flight attendants union is pushing to extend the mask mandate, despite unruly passengers. Conditions are the same with the youngest passengers not yet having access to the vaccine. Safety and security includes mask. (2/23)

“We could be in Stage 4 possibly in the next 10 days or so,” said Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County Health Authority. ( 2/18/22)

Pfizer-BioNTech has pulled it's request for use of the COVID-19 two-dose vaccine for ages 6 months - 4 years-old. Three doses may provide a higher amount of protection. Data from the 3 dose test will start coming in early April. (2/11/)

1/31/22: The Moderna vaccine has been given full approval by the FDA . Pfizer was fully approved by the FDA on 8/23/21.

1/25/22 : Central Texas may have finally hit peak #4 for cases of COVID-19. Omicron sub-variant BA.2 classified as a variant of concern