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Austin City Council calls on City staff to develop COVID-19 booster shot rollout plan

Booster shots are recommended to be issued eight months after the completion of the first two-dose vaccine course from either Moderna or Pfizer.

AUSTIN, Texas — On Thursday, the Austin City Council unanimously approved a resolution that calls on City staff to come up with a "comprehensive COVID-19 booster shot strategy that is both equitable and efficient."

The vote comes after President Joe Biden announced on Aug. 18 a booster shot rollout, which is scheduled to begin on Sept. 20. 

Pfizer announced Wednesday that it had begun the approval process for a third booster shot of the vaccine for people 16 and up. The company said it expects that application to be compete by the end of this week. Moderna also announced Wednesday that it completed the application process to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for full approval of its COVID-19 vaccine. 

“As recommended booster shots quickly approach, this policy ensures we have a targeted strategy in place that takes into account all of the lessons learned from the initial vaccine rollout,” said Austin City Council Member Vanessa Fuentes. “This needs to go beyond fixing the technical issues. We need a plan that is readily available to Austinites, laying out how we’re going to get booster shots in arms while still addressing low vaccination rates, especially in our communities of color.”

The council's resolution calls for a booster rollout plan that: 

  • Is equitable
  • Builds on lessons learned
  • Accounts for the need to address ongoing vaccine access issues affecting communities most impacted by COVID-19
  • Builds on the City’s recent commitment to increase its Community Health Worker staffing and improve health education
  • Calls for a robust community engagement and communication strategy

“This is a meaner, more aggressive form of the virus than we faced last summer,” said Austin Mayor Steve Adler. “It will require us to improve the distribution of these vaccine boosters, while also continuing to encourage and incentivize the initial vaccine within at-risk communities.”

Under current guidelines, booster shots are recommended to be issued eight months after the completion of the first two-dose vaccine course from either Moderna or Pfizer. However, officials said those with moderately to severely compromised immune systems are eligible for the COVID-19 booster shot now.

For more information, visit austintexas.gov/covid19

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