AUSTIN, Texas — As part of a coronavirus briefing with Austin and Travis County leaders on Jan. 19, Austin's top doctor said more than 60,000 people are currently qualified to sign up for a vaccine through Austin Public Health.
Of those 60,672 qualified people, 54,000 are either 65 and older or have medical conditions and no insurance. More than 166,000 accounts have been created through the APH portal.
APH is prioritizing people in groups 1A, which consists of health care workers and those in long-term care facilities, and 1B, with people ages 65 or older or people with pre-existing health conditions.
The APH portal is designed for people without insurance. So, if you can get a vaccine through your healthcare provider, a pharmacy or another provider, you're asked to help save the currently limited allocation for the most vulnerable populations. A map of providers is available on the DSHS website.
One of the big issues APH has been seeing people run into is a username and password malfunction. If you get a password error, you should not reset your password. The solution is to add a ".aph" at the end of your email in the username field. For example, if your email is "email@example.com," your username would be "firstname.lastname@example.org."
Stephanie Hayden, director of APH, said there has also been confusion about appointments and whether vaccines are available. She said if there are no appointments available, APH does not currently have vaccine doses available. Hayden said APH only releases appointments when they have vaccines to accompany them.
On Jan. 18, for example, Hayden said they made appointments available, and within two hours, appointments were no longer available because vaccines were not available.
As a reminder, here's how the pre-registration process works, according to APH:
- Create an account at AustinTexas.gov/COVID-19-Vaccines
- Pre-register for COVID-19 Vaccine.
- You will answer a few questions about yourself, vaccine reaction, and insurance information. Information provided will determine your eligibility for vaccination.
- You will not be asked about your immigration status.
- When eligible for an APH vaccine, you will be contacted to schedule an appointment.
- There will be a phased roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine with a very limited supply at the beginning. Austin Public Health follows Texas Department of State Health Services guidelines to determine eligibility.
- Vaccine information will be sent to IMMTRAC Texas Immunization Registry, and then used to notify of you of your vaccine appointment availability, and for the required follow up appointment to receive the second record dosage of vaccine.
- Information you give during pre-registration is private and confidential by law and will be maintained with confidence.
- Vaccination is free.
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