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Austin Public Health to test drive-thru COVID vaccine site this weekend at Burger Center
Austin American-Statesman - 3/18/2021
Austin Public Health is launching a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccine site this weekend in South Austin, officials said Thursday.
The site will be the first of its kind operated by Austin Public Health, which until now has only administered vaccines through in-person appointments. Last month, Travis County, along with Bastrop, Caldwell and Hays counties held a mass drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination event at Circuit of the Americas.
Officials said they are planning to administer 1,500 people this weekend as part of a pilot program for the site, which will be set up at the Toney Burger Activity Center, 3200 Jones Road.
The drive-thru vaccination site has the capacity to handle 3,000 people a day, officials said.
"Previously, all vaccine sites have been walk-in operations, as drive-thru sites are much more labor-intensive, requiring nearly three times as many staff and volunteers to operate," officials said in a statement Thursday.
Austin Public Health has the ability to vaccinate up to 37,000 people at its site each week, but officials said they have been getting an average of 12,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses on a weekly basis.
Austin Public Health officials have said distributing more COVID-19 vaccine to retail pharmacies, smaller doctor's offices and clinics could speed up the process of getting more than 85% of the residents in the area vaccinated, the threshold for herd immunity.
Officials last week had said they would hold off scheduling vaccination appointments for people aged 50-64 — recently added to Texas' Phase 1C vaccine eligibility list — until the agency receives more doses.
Austin Public Health officials have said people in the Phase 1C eligibility group will be able to schedule appointments starting 6 p.m. Thursday, when the agency is expected to make available about 4,500 openings for COVID-19 vaccinations.
On Monday, the agency experienced problems to its scheduling system leading to significant delays, and was forced to close its scheduling window early.
Our scheduling system has run into technical issues resulting in massive delays tonight. After working with our vendor for multiple hours, it appears there is no immediate fix we can make. Unfortunately, this means we must end scheduling.
— Austin Public Health (@AusPublicHealth) March 16, 2021
This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Austin Public Health to test drive-thru COVID vaccine site this weekend at Burger Center
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