Austin Public Health rolls out pre-registration for COVID-19 vaccines

COVID-19 vaccine vial
Photo credit Ethan Miller/Getty Images
By Talk 1370

AUSTIN (Talk1370.com) -- Austin Public Health says it has opened an online pre-registration system for COVID-19 vaccines.

Individuals who have private insurance are encouraged to call their primary care provider or pharmacy first. The pre-registration is only for the vaccines that APH receives, not for other providers across the area.

"The launch of our pre-registration system is the first major step toward getting the COVID-19 vaccine out into the wider community," said Dr. Mark Escott, interim health authority for Austin/Travis County. "However, vaccine supply still remains incredibly limited and there is not enough to meet the community-wide demand. We continue to encourage the community to be patient as we work to distribute the vaccine in an equitable manner. Until we are able to reach herd immunity through widespread vaccinations, it is important to remember that saying home if you can, masking, distancing, and frequent hand washing remain effective means of preventing infection."

APH is currently vaccinating people who meet the criteria for Phase 1A or 1B, which includes frontline healthcare workers, residents and staff of long-term care facilities, and individuals who are 65 years or older.

“APH has historically served as a safety net vaccine provider for those who otherwise have no access to lifesaving vaccines,” said APH Director Stephanie Hayden. “The 12,000 doses APH received in this week’s allocation is less than 1% of the area population in Travis County and is available to all residents in Texas. It is critically important that we focus on our most vulnerable populations, including those who do not have private insurance or regular access to healthcare. We are encouraging people with private insurance to contact their primary care provider about being vaccinated.”

The pre-registration form is available on the city's website at www.AustinTexas.gov/COVID19-Vaccines. Those without internet or computer access can call APH's Nursing Hotline at 512-972-5560, which is available between 8am and 6pm Monday-Friday and 9am and 1pm on Saturday.

If individuals meet the criteria and appointments are still available, they will be allowed to schedule an appointment to receive a vaccine. If individuals are not eligible or appointments are full, they will be placed on a waiting list and notified in the future if and when additional vaccine becomes available to APH.