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85% of Travis County could be vaccinated in up to 12 weeks, local health leaders say

The goal would be made possible through partnerships with companies like CVS and H-E-B.

AUSTIN, Texas — If Austin Public Health and private partners like CVS and H-E-B can vaccinate 24,000 people a week, local health leaders are confident they could vaccinate 85% of Travis County in up to 12 weeks. 

APH Director Stephanie Hayden-Howard made the comments on Tuesday in a meeting that included Interim Medical Director and Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott as well as Austin Mayor Steve Adler.

Hayden-Howard described two scenarios. If local leaders were able to provide 24,000 vaccines a week, it could take 12 weeks. However, if 50,000 vaccines were able to be provided, that could shorten down to eight weeks.

"And so, basically, 85% of Travis County residents would be provided the vaccine in eight weeks," said Hayden-Howard. "The other thing that this model has to keep in mind is ... the second doses."

Based on doses, she said APH would have the potential to give out between 24,000 to 50,000 vaccines a day. 

"So, as we look at this public/private strategy, is Austin Public Health maintained at 24,000 a week? Considering if we were using Moderna, then basically with the approved sites, all of our partners would only need to do 267 vaccines a week," she said.

Hayden-Howard said no additional hours or no additional staff would be needed because the partners, such as businesses like H-E-B, Walmart, Walgreen's and CVS, would be able to operate with direct contact from the federal government.

As vaccines continue this week across the area, local leaders are also gearing up for a third weekend of mass vaccinations at Circuit of the Americas. Travis County Judge Andy Brown said he expects APH can vaccinate 14,000 people this weekend. He expects it to be mostly educators.

"So that would be 4,000 Friday, 5,000 Saturday and 5,000 Sunday," he said.

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