Is that this third COVID-19 wave our final? Austin is 822 folks nearer to the reply being 'sure'

AUSTIN (KXAN) — For the primary time in roughly two months, hospitalizations in Austin-Travis County look like on a downward pattern. Have we lastly hit our third peak? Dr. Desmar Walkes, the native well being authority, says she is “cautiously optimistic.”

Whereas that’s undoubtedly hopeful information, we have been burned earlier than. For an excellent few months earlier this 12 months, vaccinated Texans eliminated their masks, returned to film theaters and eating places and reincorporated actions into day by day routine that had disappeared for roughly a 12 months. It appeared just like the pandemic was lastly nearing an finish.

A member of a state cellular vaccine workforce administers a COVID-19 vaccine to an East Austin man on the porch of Sam’s BBQ at a group vaccination clinic on Might 14 (Nexstar Photograph)

In fact, everyone knows the rug was ready to be ripped out from beneath us within the type of a variant extra contagious than something we had seen beforehand. The delta variant induced a 3rd surge in Texas and in Austin-Travis County that pushed hospital capacities and healthcare techniques to new extremes.

The query now’s, will this third surge be the final?

Well being consultants say if we attain herd immunity, it would largely curb the creation and unfold of further variants, placing the pandemic to mattress. With out herd immunity, that is going to take loads longer and have extra speedbumps.

In brief, it is dependent upon your neighbors — and because it seems, now we have excellent news on that entrance.

A month in the past, KXAN interviewed an Austin mother who was struggling to persuade her grownup youngsters, one who lives in Austin and one who lives out of state, to get their COVID-19 vaccine. Peggy Daniels reached out to us as part of our ‘Hold Austin Nicely’ city corridor in an effort to seek out instruments to persuade her youngsters to get their shot.

“They’re each very effectively educated, they have good jobs, and for some cause they have been each hesitant,” she mentioned. “My daughter was a bit of bit afraid of it as a result of she did not really feel like there was sufficient testing and all that stuff. I feel my son was simply extra turned off by the political ramifications of the entire thing.”

However now, a month later, each of her youngsters have acquired at the very least their first dose of a vaccine. Daniels says the FDA’s full approval of the Pfizer vaccine was largely to thank for her son’s vaccination. Her daughter was fearful about spreading the virus to her mother and father, because the delta variant has confirmed extra transmissible.

“She really obtained her first shot earlier than it was FDA authorised,” Daniels mentioned.

The Daniels household’s story is one thing we’re listening to throughout our metropolis. Whether or not the ultimate push was extra companies and localities placing ahead vaccine incentives, the total FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine or due to considerations introduced on by the delta variant, 822 folks obtained their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine final week by Austin Public Well being and CommUnity Care, based on the APH dashboard. That does not embrace first doses given by different suppliers and clinics like Walgreens and CVS.

Austin Public Well being says of the primary doses given by APH final week, 171 have been Moderna, 359 have been Pfizer and 45 have been J&J. These numbers don’t embrace CommUnity Care numbers.

An APH spokesperson instructed us they have not overwhelmingly seen folks requesting the Pfizer vaccine at their clinics because of it receiving full FDA approval. They believe the recognition of the Pfizer vaccine final week was merely a product of it being authorised for youths 12-17. APH did a number of cellular vaccine clinics at colleges.

Nonetheless, and for no matter cause, the hole between us and herd immunity is closing. Solely 9 p.c of the group is susceptible to the virus proper now, Walkes reported.

Graph shows progress to herd immunityA graph proven earlier than Austin Metropolis Council and Travis County Commissioners Tuesday, August 31, reveals progress to herd immunity (Courtesy of APH)

Within the graph above, the class marked “estimated” are individuals who have had COVID, however have been asymptomatic or didn’t have signs and subsequently weren’t examined, based on APH.

It is value noting that whereas infections are thought-about on this graphic in reference to herd immunity, well being consultants nonetheless say the vaccine is far more efficient in defending towards reinfection than antibodies introduced on by contracting the virus.

Knowledge collected day by day by KXAN reveals that roughly 67% of the Travis County inhabitants is totally vaccinated.

Texas developments

It isn’t simply regionally that we’re seeing an uptick in first vaccinations, it is a statewide pattern. The chart under reveals the variety of vaccine doses administered every day throughout Texas. The pink bars present first doses administered however doesn’t embrace first doses of the J&J vaccine, which is a one dose vaccine and is included within the second or solely dose knowledge represented in inexperienced.

Over the previous month, vaccinations throughout the state of Texas have persistently crept to day by day ranges we have not seen since Might.

Whereas that is all very promising information, the very fact stays that roughly 250,000 eligible folks in Austin-Travis County stay unvaccinated, based on Dr. Adrienne Sturrup, the interim director of APH. Communities of colour proceed to lag behind, she mentioned in a briefing Tuesday.

In accordance with knowledge from the Texas Division of State Well being Companies, 39.26% of people who find themselves Black or African American in Travis County are totally vaccinated, 54.49% of Hispanic or Latino persons are vaccinated. That is in comparison with the 68.64% of people who find themselves white and totally vaccinated.

A spokesperson for CVS Well being says over the previous two months, 40% of vaccines administered have been to members of underrepresented communities nationwide. APH has additionally mentioned they’re specializing in getting vaccine data and clinics to communities falling behind in vaccination charges.

To search out COVID-19 vaccine areas close to you or to make an appointment, go to Austin Public Well being’s web site. Vaccine websites might be closed over the vacation weekend.

Related Articles

Back to top button