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70% of eligible Austin residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Austin Public Health announced it has exceeded its 70% goal Wednesday but said the Delta variant could threaten herd immunity.

AUSTIN, Texas — About 70% of Austin residents over 12 years old have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a press release from the City of Austin and Travis County.

Austin Public Health (APH) announced it had exceeded its 70% goal Wednesday but said the Delta variant is prompting a “reassessment of the minimum threshold for herd immunity.”

Just over 60% of eligible Travis County residents are fully vaccinated, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

“We continue to monitor our case numbers and hospital admissions as we know that there will be an impact on these due to the presence of the Delta variant,” Austin-Travis County Healthy Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes said in the press release. "We will make adjustments in our recommendations accordingly. At the same time, the situation calls for everyone taking responsibility for themselves and determining their own level of risk.”

APH currently defines herd immunity as “the point at which a large portion of the community would become immune to the virus, halting its spread.”

A total of 159 COVID-19 cases were reported on Wednesday, July 7, in Austin. The positivity rate has increased to 4.3%, according to Walkes.

“We are beginning to see an increase in COVID-19 cases in Travis County, similar to what has been seen in other parts of the country,” Walkes said.

Austin Public Health said Wednesday that as long as part of the population remains unvaccinated, mutations of the coronavirus will “continue to appear and spread.”

Williamson County confirmed its first three cases of the Delta variant last month. APH said a major outbreak of the Delta variant in Travis County is unlikely earlier this month.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are effective against the COVID-19 variant, according to Austin health officials.

“Our advice remains the same: Get vaccinated,” Interim APH Director Adrienne Sturrup said in the press release. “It’s the best way to protect yourself, your loved ones and your neighbors as a whole. We are working closely with community partners to meet and vaccinate people on their terms, in the place where they gather, shop and worship to make sure everyone has the opportunity to be safe and protected.”

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