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Austin Public Health prepares for COVID-19 booster shot rollout

Local health leaders are confident the current vaccine supply will meet the demand for boosters.

AUSTIN, Texas — COVID-19 booster shots are expected to become available on Sept. 20 and Austin Public Health is getting plans in place for a smooth rollout. 

If authorized by the FDA, people who received Moderna or Pfizer shots for their first two doses will be advised to get a third shot eight months after their second dose. 

Austin Public Health leaders say they are confident the current vaccine supply will be able to meet the demand when booster shots are available. 

"There is much more vaccine available than when the vaccine initially hit our community back in January. And there are many, many more vaccine providers. We currently have a lot of vaccine available in our current community," said Cassandra DeLeon, APH chief administrative officer for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

Currently, the CDC does not have enough data on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to determine the need for a booster shot. 

"It is likely that people who received a J&J COVID-19 vaccine will need a booster dose. Because the J&J/Janssen vaccine wasn’t given in the United States until 70 days after the first mRNA vaccine doses (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna), the data needed to make this decision aren’t available yet," the CDC said on its booster doses website

As other countries lag behind in vaccine access, the World Health Organization has argued the U.S. should not offer booster shots.

RELATED: WHO head calls for two-month vaccine booster moratorium

"We are working to ensure that we are increasing our vaccine clinic capacity to encompass the need to provide boosters for those that become eligible on that 9/20 date, which is anyone who is at that eight-month mark since their second full dose," DeLeon said. "We are working to put those plans in motion and increasing our current capacity so that there is an opportunity for those to get vaccinated at Austin Public Health."

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