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What to know: COTA gearing up for a second weekend of mass vaccinations

The event, which there is no signup for, will be held Friday through Sunday.

AUSTIN, Texas — This weekend, Travis, Hays, Caldwell and Bastrop counties plan to host another mass vaccination event at Circuit of the Americas (COTA).

The goal is to vaccinate 10,000 people with the Pfizer vaccine. People will be able to get vaccinated on Friday through Sunday.

Organizers hope that dividing up how many people are getting vaccinated will ease some of the congestion that was seen last weekend. Because there was so much traffic, it took people anywhere from an hour-and-a-half to three hours to get vaccinated. Friday, organizers expect to vaccinate 2,000 people. On Saturday and Sunday, 4,000 people will get vaccinated each day.

Last weekend, people in line said that, overall, it was a good experience. But they said this weekend's group will need to be patient if they come out to COTA for a vaccine.

For this event, there is no public signup. Counties are partnering with CommUnityCare and Ascension Seton. CommUnityCare will be reaching out to all of its patients who had already signed up for a vaccine that fall into the 1B category, as well as some teachers and school district staff.

Keep in mind that this event is only for the first dose. If you get a call and you already had the first dose, stick with where you got it and don't change your provider for the second dose.

Travis County Judge Andy Brown said local authorities will be working to make sure people hit the hardest by COVID-19, such as those in ZIP codes in eastern Travis County and outlying counties, are getting a fair shot in getting the vaccine.

"I was real proud of the fact that last Saturday, of the 2,100 folks who registered through the CommUnityCare, 77% of them were Latino, 7% were African American," said Brown. "And we're continuing to try to get those numbers up so that we have an equal representation across Travis County of people getting the shots who have been hardest hit by COVID."

Brown said local leaders are aiming to keep this site operating in the future.

Jessica Wallace received her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at COTA Friday.

"I didn't even know until yesterday at 7 last night when I got my text," said Wallace.

She said the entire vaccination process Friday at COTA took about 30 minutes.  

"I was crying a little bit in my eyes because it’s going to help me," said Wallace. "It’s going to help everybody else."  

"Our goal, eventually, is to get this thing running seven days a week, getting 6,000 to 10,000 people per day and opening it up to the public at large," Brown added. "One of the things that we're really hoping for is that we get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine eventually because that is a one-shot vaccine and that will make it much easier for us to open it up broadly because we can get more people overall."

Brown said patients who received their first shot at a COTA will be coming back to the same site for their second appointments. CommUnityCare will be sending out those notifications.

Next week, Brown added that they are working to host a day where teachers can get vaccinated, following the State's announcement earlier this week that child care providers are now eligible.

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