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[COVID-19: Press Q & A]

[00:00:08]

GOOD MORNING.

I'M LASHONDRA SHAW PIO FOR THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

AND I AM THE MODERATOR FOR TODAY'S MEDIA AVAILABILITY.

SPANISH INTERPRETATION IS AVAILABLE ON ATX IN THREE TO START AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR, STEPHANIE HAYDEN HOWARD WILL FIRST SAY A FEW WORDS FOLLOWED BY DR.

MARK SCOTT, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, CITY OF AUSTIN AND INTERIM AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY HEALTH AUTHORITY.

THEN JANET PICHET AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, CHIEF EPIDEMIOLOGIST FOLLOWED BY CASSANDRA DE LEON APH, CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER FOR DISEASE PREVENTION AND HEALTH PROMOTION DIVISION.

WE WILL THEN OPEN IT UP TO OUR POLL REPORTER WHO WILL ASK QUESTIONS ON BEHALF OF THE MEDIA, STEPHANIE, OVER TO YOU.

I'M SORRY, STEPHANIE, WE CAN'T HEAR YOU.

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? YES, MA'AM ALL RIGHT.

WE ARE SO EXCITED THAT WE ARE, UM, MOVING FORWARD WITH OUR NEIGHBORHOOD MODEL.

AS YOU RECALL, THIS IS A MODEL WHERE WE BRING VACCINES INTO THE COMMUNITY WHERE WE ARE WORKING VERY CLOSELY WITH PARTNERS AND LONG TO BE NEAR WHERE INDIVIDUALS LIVE REALLY WANTED TO FOCUS ON AREAS THAT HAVE BEEN SEVERELY IMPACTED BY COVID-19.

AND SO, AS WE CONTINUE TO PARTNER TO JUST BASICALLY MEET PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE WITH OUR VACCINES, WE'RE CONTINUING TO REMAIN FLEXIBLE AT ALL OF OUR LOCATIONS.

YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO DO A WALK IN.

YOU DON'T HAVE TO HAVE AN APPOINTMENT.

IF YOU CHOOSE TO HAVE AN APPOINTMENT, WE ARE STILL SCHEDULING THOSE AS WELL.

IT IS GOING TO BE IMPORTANT THAT AS WE CONTINUE TO MOVE ALONG THE PATH, THAT WE ARE WORKING VERY CLOSELY WITH SEVERAL OF OUR PARTNERS, WE ARE GOING TO BE WORKING WITH SCHOOLS, APARTMENT COMPLEXES, UM, AND THE FAITH-BASED COMMUNITY.

UM, WE WILL BE, UM, TOMORROW WE WILL BE OUT AT, UM, AND GREAT AMOUNT OF ZION BAPTIST CHURCH AS WELL AS MENDEZ MIDDLE SCHOOL.

SO THOSE ARE JUST A COUPLE OF EXAMPLES, THAT INFORMATION, UM, WE HAVE PUT THE LINKS ON OUR WEBSITE.

SO IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN ATTENDING THOSE, PLEASE FEEL FREE.

UM, YOU CAN ALWAYS REACH OUT TO THREE, ONE, ONE.

WE WANT TO BE AS FLEXIBLE AS WE CAN BE WITH THAT.

I'LL TRANSITION OVER TO DR.

SCOTT.

THANK YOU, STEPHANIE MORNING.

UH, I'M EXCITED TO SEE THAT, THAT OUR CASES CONTINUE TO DRAW OUR HOSPITALIZATIONS, CONTINUE TO DRAW, UH, WITH ONLY 105 INDIVIDUALS HOSPITALIZED AS OF YESTERDAY, UH, LOOKING AT THE, THE NUMBERS AND THE TRENDS.

IT APPEARS THAT AS EARLY AS TODAY, WE MAY ENTER INTO STAGE TWO TERRITORY.

NOW, OF COURSE, WE WANT TO CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE DATA AND ENSURE THAT WE STAY THERE, UH, AND ARE CONTINUE TO GO DOWN.

UH, BUT THAT MEANS A POSSIBLE TRANSITION INTO STAGE TWO AS EARLY AS NEXT WEEK.

UH, THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN BY LUCK.

IT'S HAPPENED BECAUSE OF OUR COMMUNITY'S COMMITMENT TO MAKING IT HAPPEN, THE COMMITMENT TO BE VACCINATED, THE COMMITMENT TO CONTINUE TO WEAR MASKS IN PUBLIC, TO SAFELY DISTANCE, UH, TO CONTINUE TO STAY HOME WHEN WE'RE SICK.

THESE THINGS THAT HAVE BROUGHT US TO THIS POINT OR IMPORTANT TO CONTINUE AS WE MOVE INTO NEXT WEEK.

AND NEXT MONTH, WHEN THESE COMMITMENTS, WE WILL CONTINUE TO DRIVE DOWN COVID-19 AND WE'LL CONTINUE TO SAVE LIVES AND SAVE PEOPLE FROM HOSPITALIZATIONS ASSOCIATED WITH THIS TERRIBLE DISEASE.

UH, SO WE ARE, WE'RE HOPEFUL THAT WE WILL CONTINUE THESE EFFORTS.

UH, WE WILL, IF WE TRANSITION INTO STAGE TWO, REVISE THE HEALTH AUTHORITY GUIDELINES, WHICH MAY RELAX SOME OF THOSE RESTRICTIONS, PARTICULARLY FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE VACCINATED.

SO AGAIN, OUR HOPE IS THAT THAT COMMITMENT WILL CONTINUE AND THAT WE WILL CONTINUE TO SEE IMPROVEMENTS ACROSS OUR COMMUNITY.

I DO WANT TO MENTION THAT FOR THE LAST SEVEN DAYS, 85% OF THE INCODE CASES HAVE BEEN AN INDIVIDUALS LESS THAN 50 YEARS OLD, WHICH TELLS ME THAT WE HAVE TO WORK HARDER TO GET INDIVIDUALS UNDER 50 YEARS OLD VACCINATED.

THAT'S WHERE THE TRANSMISSION IS HAPPENING.

AND I WOULD STRONGLY ENCOURAGE FOLKS OF ALL AGES WHO ARE ELIGIBLE NOW TO GET VACCINATED, BUT PARTICULARLY THOSE YOUNGER INDIVIDUALS WHERE WE'RE SEEING DISEASE TRANSMISSION, CONTINUING WITH THAT, I WILL TURN

[00:05:01]

IT OVER TO JANET MICHELLE.

GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE.

UM, AS DR.

S SCOTT HAS MENTIONED, OUR CASES ARE PLATEAUING AND WHAT WE ARE SEEING, WE'VE SEEN THAT 50% DROP IN CASES FROM THE POINT OF TIME WHERE WE WERE LAST WEEK, WHICH IS GOOD FOR US.

HOWEVER, OUR ROLE IN EPIDEMIOLOGY FOR AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH IS BEGINNING TO TRANSITION AND OUR FOCUS IS STARTING TO, UM, BECOME, UH, INVESTIGATING, UH, THOSE, UH, UH, VARIANT CASES THAT ARE CIRCULATING IN OUR COMMUNITY, AS WELL AS, UH, UH, WE'RE SPENDING A LOT OF TIME BEGINNING TO TRACK VACCINE BREAK PUTTERS AND, UH, REENTER SECTIONS.

WE, UH, CONTINUE TO HOPE TO INVESTIGATE THAT SO THAT WE CAN FIGURE OUT WHERE THOSE CASES MAY HAVE TRAVELED TO WHAT KIND OF EXPOSURE THEY'VE HAD, UH, UH, WHO THEY MAY HAVE INTERACTED WITH.

SO THERE'LL BE A LOT OF WORK, UH, INVESTIGATING THOSE TYPES OF CASES.

UM, IT'S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THOUGH, UH, THE, THIS JUST HIGHLIGHTS THE IMPORTANCE OF VACCINATION.

IF YOU HAVEN'T BEEN VACCINATED, YOU KNOW, THERE IS A POSSIBILITY YOU COULD BE EXPOSED TO A VARIANT STRAIN OF THIS VIRUS.

UH, WE HAVE RECENTLY SEEN IN THE HOUSTON AREA, THEY'VE REPORTED FOUR CASES OF THE INDIAN VARIANT THAT, UH, IS THE MUTANT VARIANT THAT'S BEEN CIRCULATING AND, UH, CAUSING SUCH DEVASTATION IN THE COUNTRY OF INDIA.

SO, UM, YOU KNOW, WE WANT TO BE CAREFUL AND MINDFUL AND CONTINUE TO PRACTICE PREVENTION, UH, WHEN POSSIBLE TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND OTHERS, ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE NOT BEEN VACCINATED.

UM, YOU KNOW, AGAIN, WE'RE ALSO LOOKING AT BREAKTHROUGH CASES, UM, THAT ARE IN CASE INDIVIDUALS WHO'VE BEEN FULLY VACCINATED TO SEE, UH, IF THERE WAS A DIFFERENCE IN THE TYPE OF VACCINE THEY HAD AND, AND TRYING TO INVESTIGATE WHAT MIGHT'VE CAUSED THAT BREAKTHROUGH TO OCCUR.

AND WE KNOW THAT IT'S NOT ALWAYS 100% EFFECTIVE TO GET VACCINE, HOWEVER, IT, THE SUCCESS AND THE EMPHASIS EFFICACY IS VERY HIGH.

SO WE WANT TO REALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT'S CAUSING THESE ISSUES.

UM, AND WITH THAT, I'LL JUST TURN IT OVER.

OH, ONE OTHER THING I DID WANT TO MENTION IS THAT, UH, BEGINNING, MAY 15TH, UH, WE WILL BEGIN REPORTING OUR DAILY CASE DATA OUT ON A, ON A, A WEEKLY BASIS.

SO WE WILL NOT BE REPORTING OVER A SATURDAY AND SUNDAY OR ON MAJOR HOLIDAYS.

UH, THE EPI STAFF, UH, ARE GOING TO BE GETTING A MUCH NEEDED BREAK, UH, AFTER 14 MONTHS OF PRETTY MUCH WORKING EVERY SINGLE DAY, INCLUDING HOLIDAYS.

SO, UH, WE'LL BE REPORTING OUT MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY, UH, AND THEN WE'LL HAVE A NEW UPDATE BEGINNING ON MONDAY.

SO, UH, WE'LL BE REPORTING THOSE CASES OUT, BUT THAT CHANGE TAKES, IT TAKES EFFECT MAY 15TH.

AND I'LL TURN IT OVER TO CASSIE DELEON.

YES.

GOOD MORNING.

UH, THANK YOU, JANET.

UM, AND DEFINITELY WANT TO REITERATE THE IMPORTANCE OF GETTING VACCINE THAT MANY OF MY COLLEAGUES HAVE ALREADY MENTIONED, AND ALSO WANT TO REALLY TALK ABOUT THAT.

WE'RE REALLY EXCITED THAT THERE'S A LOT OF VACCINE SUPPLY IN OUR COMMUNITY FROM A LOT OF DIFFERENT OUTLETS.

AND SO YOU HAVE A LOT OF CHOICES, UH, WHERE YOU WANT TO GET YOUR VACCINE FROM AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH.

SPECIFICALLY, WE ARE CURRENTLY OPENING UP ALL OF OUR VACCINE SITES FOR ANYONE WHO NEEDS TO WALK UP AND GET A VACCINE.

YOU DON'T NEED TO WORRY ABOUT TRYING TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT, TRYING TO REGISTER ALL OF THAT CAN BE DONE ONSITE, AND YOU CAN EASILY GET YOUR VACCINE.

HOW I WANT TO NOTE THAT OUR TONY BERGER CENTER IS A DRIVE-THROUGH PSYCH AND IT IS AVAILABLE FOR WALK-UPS AS WELL AS THE DELCO CENTER IS ALLOWING FOR WALK-UPS.

WE DO ENCOURAGE THAT YOU CALL THROUGH ONE-ON-ONE TO ENSURE THAT IF YOU'RE PLANNING TO GET YOUR VACCINE, YOU VERIFY THE TIMES AND LOCATIONS OF WHERE YOU CAN GET VACCINE FROM AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, BUT KNOW THAT WE ARE PROVIDING VACCINE WAS IN THE COMMUNITY ON TUESDAYS THROUGH SATURDAY.

SO ANY ONE OF THOSE DAYS, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO GET A VACCINE IN A WALKUP LOCATION.

UM, ALSO NOTE THAT ALSO PUBLIC HEALTH IS TRYING TO REDUCE ANY AND ALL BARRIERS.

IN ADDITION TO THE KIND OF COMMUNITY-BASED OUTREACH THAT WE'RE DOING, UM, AT THOSE, THOSE MAJOR BIG SITES THAT WE'RE PROVIDING VACCINE AT, YOU DON'T HAVE TO HAVE AN ID.

YOU DON'T HAVE TO BRING PROOF OF INSURANCE.

YOU DON'T HAVE TO BRING ANYTHING OTHER THAN JUST COME AND GET YOUR VACCINE.

UM, AND THERE IS NO COST.

SO WE REALLY WANNA ENCOURAGE EVERYONE JUST TO COME OUT AND GET VACCINATED.

IF YOU'RE LOOKING TO GET YOUR SECOND DOSE AND YOU'RE HAVING DIFFICULTY, UH, NO WORRIES THERE.

IF YOU'RE AT THAT 28 DAY, YOU CAN WALK UP TO ANY SITE AND GET YOUR VACCINE, UM, FROM AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH.

AGAIN, WE DO ENCOURAGE THAT YOU CONTACT THROUGH ONE-ON-ONE AND GET, UM, INFORMATION ABOUT WHERE YOU CAN GET VACCINATED

[00:10:01]

AND WHAT THE HOURS ARE SO THAT YOU CAN ENSURE THAT YOU CAN MAXIMIZE YOUR TIME AND TAKE CARE OF THAT.

UM, AGAIN, WE'RE TRYING TO OFFER AS LITTLE, UM, BARRIER AS POSSIBLE.

WE WANT EVERYONE TO GET THE VACCINE BECAUSE THERE'S SO MUCH AVAILABLE.

THERE REALLY IS NO BARRIER, AND THERE'S NO EXCUSES.

NOW EVERYONE CAN GET ACCESS.

EVERYONE CAN PROTECT THEMSELVES, PROTECT THEIR FAMILY AND PROTECT THEIR COMMUNITY.

SO COURAGE, EVERYONE GET VACCINATED, ENCOURAGE YOUR FRIENDS, YOUR FAMILY, AND ANYONE YOU COME INTO CONTACT WITH.

THIS IS THE BEST THING WE CAN DO TO, TO TAMP DOWN THIS DISEASE AND, AND GET BACK TO, UM, A LIFE, UH, WHERE WE DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THIS COVID SITUATION AND WITHOUT AN OPENNESS, AS A OPEN US UP FOR QUESTIONS, AND IT IS FREE, CORRECT CASSIE, THIS SERVICE THAT WE PROVIDE TO THE COMMUNITY IT'S FREE.

AND I THINK THAT'S SOMETHING, ABSOLUTELY IT IS FREE.

THERE IS NO COST TO, UM, ANYONE COMING TO, UM, ONE OF OUR CLINICS.

THANK YOU, CASSIE.

ALL RIGHT.

AT THIS TIME, WE WILL NOW OPEN UP QUESTIONS TO OUR OLD REPORTER, SALLY HERNANDEZ FROM K X A N SALLY.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU FOR LETTING US ASK YOU THESE QUESTIONS.

UH, FIRST QUESTION COMES FROM US HERE AT KX SAN.

CAN YOU DETAIL HOW YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE APH GIVE INCENTIVES TO PEOPLE TO ENCOURAGE THEM TO GET THE SHOT, WHETHER IT'S THE FIRST SHOT OR THE SECOND SHOT WE ARE, UM, ENGAGING WITH, UM, WITH BUSINESSES AND GRASSROOTS SERVICE PROVIDERS, UM, HAVING THOSE CONVERSATIONS ABOUT WHAT POTENTIAL INCENTIVES WOULD LOOK LIKE.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT, YOU KNOW, WE WE KNOW IS EXPANDING.

IT IS IMPORTANT FOR US TO CONTINUE IN THOSE, WITH THOSE RELATIONSHIPS THAT WE HAVE ESTABLISHED AND BE ABLE TO KIND OF LOOK AT THIS MORE HOLISTICALLY.

UM, IT'S IMPORTANT FOR US TO KNOW THAT, YOU KNOW, EVEN LOOKING WITH BUSINESSES, IF THEY'RE WILLING TO ALLOW FOLKS TO HAVE THE TIME OFF, UH, TO BE ABLE TO GO AND GET THAT VACCINE IS JUST ONE OF THE EXAMPLES THAT WE KNOW, WHAT VERY WELL WORK.

THE OTHER THING THAT, YOU KNOW, IN CONVERSATIONS WITH BUSINESSES, UM, IF THEY WILL ALLOW AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH TO BE ABLE TO COME BY, UM, HAVE A CLINIC DAY AT THEIR OPERATION.

AND SO, UM, AND THEN ALLOWING FOLKS TO COME WHENEVER THEY CAN, UM, NOT USING THEIR BREAK TIME OR THEIR LUNCHTIME.

AND SO WE ARE CONTINUING THOSE CONVERSATION ABOUT INCENTIVES.

I'LL ALSO JUST MENTIONED THAT, THAT WHEN WE THINK ABOUT INCENTIVES, WE'RE NOT JUST TALKING ABOUT MONETARY INCENTIVES, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT NON-MONETARY INCENTIVES AS WELL.

AND WHAT AM I, WHAT I MEAN BY THAT IS INCREASED, UH, FREEDOMS OR RELAXATIONS FOR THOSE WHO'VE BEEN FULLY VACCINATED.

AND THAT'S CERTAINLY SOMETHING THAT WE'RE LOOKING AT FROM THE POLICY SIDE AS WELL.

WHEN WE LOOK AT REVISING THE HEALTH AUTHORITY RULES, SOME OF THOSE REVISIONS WILL ALLOW FOR MORE FLEXIBILITY FOR EMPLOYERS, UH, TO ALLOW NON MASKING FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE FULLY VACCINATED.

BUT CERTAINLY THERE ARE, THERE ARE OTHER WAYS TO INCENTIVIZE THAT DON'T INVOLVE, UH, MONEY.

UH, AND, UH, WE'RE CERTAINLY ENCOURAGING AS DIRECTOR HAYDEN HOWARD SAID, WE'RE ENCOURAGING THOSE BUSINESSES, THOSE BUSINESS OWNERS TO, TO THINK ABOUT HOW THEY MIGHT, UH, PROVIDE SOME INCENTIVE, UH, TO ENSURE THAT THAT THEIR EMPLOYEES GET VACCINATED.

OKAY.

NEXT QUESTION COMES FROM THE AUSTIN AMERICAN STATESMAN.

DR.

S SCOTT, CAN YOU PLEASE PROVIDE CLARITY AS TO WHY YOU FEEL IT NECESSARY TO FOCUS ONLY ON YOUR ROLE AS CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER? WHAT PRACTICAL EFFECT WILL THAT HAVE ON YOUR ROLE ADVISING THE PUBLIC ON HEALTH MATTERS? WELL, BEFORE THIS PANDEMIC BEGAN, UH, MY, MY ROLE WITH THE CITY WAS TO SERVE AS THE EMS SYSTEM, MEDICAL DIRECTOR, SUPERVISING OUR 2000 EMS AND FIRE DEPARTMENT PERSONNEL THAT ARE RUNNING CLINICAL CARE TO A HUNDRED THOUSAND PEOPLE A YEAR IN THE CITY AND THE COUNTY, UH, THE CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER ADDITIONS, UH, UH, ALSO HAVE MAY PROVIDING OVERSIGHT OR WERE THE OTHER CLINICAL SERVICES WITHIN THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

UH, SO, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE A REAL OPPORTUNITY HERE WITH THIS NEW ROLE TO PROVIDE BETTER STRATEGIC ALIGNMENT BETWEEN CITY AND COUNTY SERVICES BETWEEN THE DEPARTMENTS WITHIN THE CITY, BUT ALSO, UH, REALLY STRENGTHEN THOSE RELATIONSHIPS THAT HAVE BEEN BUILT OVER THE PAST YEAR AND A HALF WITH OUR OTHER STAKEHOLDERS IN THE COMMUNITY, OUR MAJOR HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS, COMMUNITY CARE, INTEGRAL CARE, UH, CENTRAL HEALTH AND OTHERS, SO THAT WE CAN, YOU KNOW, IDENTIFY OPPORTUNITIES TO IMPROVE THOSE SERVICES, THOSE CRITICAL SERVICES, PARTICULARLY WHEN WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD,

[00:15:01]

UH, AT THE, AT THE RECOVERY PHASE OF, OF THIS PANDEMIC, THOSE CLINICAL SERVICES ARE GONNA BE CRITICAL, UH, PARTICULARLY FOR THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE, HAVE LOST JOBS, LOST HEALTH INSURANCE BENEFITS TO ENSURE THAT THEY HAVE AN AFFORDABLE WAY TO, UH, TO ACCESS THOSE HEALTHCARE SERVICES.

OKAY.

ONE THING I WOULD ALSO ADD IS, IS THAT, UM, WITH DR F SCOTT, YOU KNOW, WE'RE VERY GRATEFUL, UM, FOR THE TIME THAT HE HAS SPENT WITH US AND ALSO PUBLIC HEALTH AS WE, UM, UH, ON BOARD, THE OTHER HEALTH AUTHORITY, HE WILL CONTINUE TO WORK, UH, WITH THAT INDIVIDUAL.

AND AS HE STATED, YOU KNOW, OTHER, UM, CLINICAL PROFESSIONALS ACROSS THE CITY, WE FEEL LIKE THAT THIS ELEVATED ROLE, UM, DEFINITELY, UM, MOVES US TO THE NEXT LEVEL AS THE CITY OF AUSTIN, THE ESTABLISHED RELATIONSHIPS THAT WE HAVE, UM, MAY DURING THIS PROCESS WITH THE PANDEMIC, WE WANT TO BE ABLE TO CONTINUE THOSE RELATIONSHIPS.

WE WANT TO BE ABLE TO REALLY BE ABLE TO LOOK AT, FROM KIND OF FROM START TO FINISH.

UM, AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH IS CONCERNED ABOUT THE PREVENTION ASPECTS OF WORK AS OTHERS ARE LOOKING MORE SO AT THE CLINICAL ASPECTS.

SO WHEN WE PULLED TOGETHER THE WORK THAT THAT EMS AND FIRE ARE DOING, UM, AS WELL AS PUBLIC HEALTH, THAT SYNERGY IS, IS, IS, IS, IS GOING TO BE REALLY GREAT.

IT'S GOING TO TAKE US TO THE NEXT LEVEL.

BUT WHEN WE ALSO THINK ABOUT THE, UM, MAJOR HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS THAT HAVE BEEN AT THE TABLE THROUGHOUT THIS PANDEMIC, THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER THINGS THAT WE WILL BE ABLE TO DO, UM, AS A CITY AND A COUNTY.

SO THIS IS A HUGE PLUS FOR US, UM, WITH THE ELEVATION FOR HIM IN THAT, UM, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER ROLE.

OKAY, THANK YOU.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM COMMUNITY IMPACT, ARE THERE ANY PLANS TO WIND DOWN OPERATIONS AT MASS VACCINATION CLINICS TO FOCUS MORE ON TARGETED OUTREACH EFFORTS AND THE NEIGHBORHOOD MODEL? YEAH, I'LL JUMP IN.

WE DEFINITELY ARE ASSESSING UPTAKE AT THE MASS VACCINE CLINICS, UM, AT OUR TONY BERGER CENTER LOCATION AND AT THE DELCO CENTER.

UM, WE KNOW THAT THAT'S PROVIDED A SIGNIFICANT RESOURCE FOR THE COMMUNITY.

UM, THEN THERE'S A LOT OF FACTORS THAT ARE NEEDING US TO THINK ABOUT, UM, SWITCHING OUR MODEL AND, AND, AND INCREASING THE COMMUNITY-BASED OUTREACH AND REDUCING THOSE MASS, UM, LOCATIONS.

ONE, THOSE LOCATIONS WERE GENEROUSLY PROVIDED BY AISD AND THEY NEED GET BACK TO USING THOSE LOCATIONS FOR, UM, SPECIFIC USE OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT NEEDS.

AND SO THAT'S ONE PIECE, BUT ALSO WE HAVE, UM, A LOT OF RESOURCES OR REQUIRED TO STAND UP THOSE MASS VACCINE CLINICS.

UM, AND WE'RE SEEING THAT, UM, PEOPLE REALLY NEED TO, UM, HAVE SOME OTHER OPTIONS TO ACCESS VACCINE.

AND SO WE'RE SEEING AN IMPORTANT TIME TO PIVOT TO REALLY SUPPLY SOME OF OUR, UM, EFFORTS THAT WE'VE BEEN PUSHING INTO MASS VACCINE CLINICS INTO MORE OF THESE COMMUNITY-BASED EFFORTS TO REALLY REACH PEOPLE WHERE THEY'RE AT.

SO WE ARE WORKING THROUGH THE MONTH OF MAY TO TRANSITION FROM THOSE MASS VACCINE CLINICS, UM, AND MAKING SURE THAT WE STILL HAVE ENOUGH CAPACITY IN THE COMMUNITY TO MEET THOSE MASS NEEDS, BUT TRANSITION MORE INTO THAT COMMUNITY-BASED MODEL AND ENSURING THAT WE HAVE ENOUGH OF, UM, UH, STANDING LOCATIONS FOR PEOPLE ON A DAILY BASIS TO BE ABLE TO REACH AND GET VACCINE EVERY DAY, BUT ALSO WORKING TO MAKE SURE WE HAVE A PRESENCE IN ANY PLACE AND EVERY PLACE THAT THERE'S A NEED AND A WANT TO PROVIDE VACCINE.

AND SO THAT'S WHAT WE'RE WORKING TO DO IS TRY TO SHIP THOSE RESOURCES SO THAT WE CAN MEET ANYONE WHERE THEY'RE AT AND MAKE SURE THAT THERE IS AGAIN, NO EXCUSE FOR PEOPLE TO NOT GET THEIR VACCINE AND THAT WE'VE REDUCED ANY AND ALL BARRIERS TO, UH, TO RECEIVING VACCINE.

OKAY, NEXT QUESTION COMES FROM K O O P RADIO.

IT IS ALMOST SIX MONTHS SINCE THE FIRST PHASE ONE, A VACCINATIONS HAS APH BEEN TESTING FOR ANTIBODIES IN THIS GROUP TO DETERMINE THE EFFICACY OF THE VACCINE OVER TIME.

I'M HAPPY TO TAKE THAT ONE.

UH, APH ITSELF HAS NOT BEEN, UH, DOING ANTIBODY TESTING FOR INDIVIDUALS THAT WE'VE VACCINATED, BUT THOSE TESTS ARE ONGOING.

AND, UH, THOSE ARE BEING DONE BY THE MANUFACTURERS AND OTHERS TO ENSURE THAT THEY'RE MONITORING, UH, YOU KNOW, THE, THE POTENTIAL FOR WANING IMMUNITY.

UH, SO WE'LL LOOK, YOU KNOW,

[00:20:01]

LOOK FORWARD TO CONTINUE TO MONITOR THAT DATA, WHO THOSE ENTITIES, UH, YOU KNOW, WE DO EXPECT AT SOME STAGE THAT THERE'LL BE WANING, UH, EFFICACY.

ONCE WE DETERMINE, UH, WHEN, AND IF BOOSTER SHOTS ARE NEEDED, OUR BEING CONCERNED RIGHT NOW IS THE INTRODUCTION OF NEW VARIANTS, WHICH MAY, UH, THREATENED THE, THE VACCINE EFFICACY AND MAY REQUIRE REFORMULATION OF, UH, BOOSTER SHOTS, UH, SIMILAR TO WHAT WE DO FOR FLU.

SO AGAIN, I THINK OUR FOCUS RIGHT NOW IS GETTING THE VACCINE INTO ARMS. WE KNOW THAT THE VACCINE IS VERY, VERY EFFECTIVE FOR, UH, THE INITIAL STRAIN PLUS, YOU KNOW, SOME OF THE NEWER VARIANTS, UH, IT'S, IT REALLY IS STILL A RACE AGAINST TIME, UH, SO THAT WE BEAT THIS VIRUS BEFORE A MORE COMPETITIVE VARIANT EMERGES THAT THAT THREATENS THE, THE EFFICACY.

THANK YOU.

NEXT QUESTION COMES FROM CVS, AUSTIN.

HOW DO YOU EXPECT THAT SEAM DISTRIBUTION TO BE HANDLED FOR 12 TO 15 YEAR OLDS IN THE AUSTIN AREA? AND DO YOU THINK THERE WILL BE DELAYS IN GETTING APPOINTMENTS LIKE THERE WAS WHEN APPOINTMENTS OPENED UP FOR ADULTS, I'M HAPPY TO START, UH, YOU KNOW, W WE HAVE MORE THAN 100 PROVIDERS, UH, THAT, UH, THAT CAN PROVIDE SHOTS TO, TO THESE YOUNG PEOPLE.

UM, YOU KNOW, WE KNOW THAT THERE'S ABOUT 60,000 OR SO INDIVIDUALS IN OUR COMMUNITY IN THAT 12 TO 15 YEAR OLD RANGE.

SO IT'S, IT'S NOT A HUGE INCREASE OF, OF, UH, OF, OF INDIVIDUALS THAT THAT WOULD BE ELIGIBLE FOR VACCINATION.

SO I DON'T ANTICIPATE ANY CHALLENGES OR SIGNIFICANT DELAYS AND, UH, AND THE AVAILABILITY FOR, FOR 12 TO 15 YEAR OLDS, I WOULD CERTAINLY ENCOURAGE, UH, THAT, YOU KNOW, PARENTS ACROSS THE COMMUNITY, AS SOON AS IT BECOMES AVAILABLE FOR THAT AGE GROUP TO GET IT.

AND I LIKE TO JUST ADD IN, UM, THERE ARE A LOT OF PROVIDERS THAT ARE PROVIDING THE PFIZER VACCINE.

THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO, AGAIN, TALK WITH YOUR PROVIDER AND MAKE THIS A SPECIAL TIME FOR YOUR, IF YOUR FAMILY HASN'T BEEN VACCINATED FOR YOU AND YOUR CHILD, OR THE ENTIRE FAMILY TO GET YOUR VACCINE, UM, THIS CAN BE A REALLY IMPORTANT STEP AND IN ADULTS CAN BE THE ROLE MODELS FOR THEIR KIDS, UM, AND GET THE VACCINE ALTOGETHER.

SO, UM, CHECK OUT WHERE THERE IS, UM, PFIZER AVAILABLE.

UM, IT'S OUR UNDERSTANDING THAT THE VACCINE THAT IS CURRENTLY BEING PROVIDED IS THE SAME VACCINE THAT WILL BE PROVIDED FOR THE 12 TO 16, 15 YEAR OLD, UM, AGE GROUP.

AND SO REALLY START PLANNING YOUR VACCINE FOR YOUR FAMILY AND, UM, IDENTIFY WHERE YOU'D LIKE TO GET THOSE, UM, VACCINES DONE AND REACH OUT TO YOUR OWN LOCAL HEALTH CARE PROVIDER TO, TO GET ADVICE ON, UM, WHAT, WHAT THEY RECOMMEND AND, UM, AND, AND SEEK OUT THOSE, THOSE OPTIONS.

OKAY, NEXT QUESTION COMES FROM KTU T DO YOU THINK THAT WE CAN STILL REACH HERD IMMUNITY WITH NEW STRINGS SPREADING AND THE AMOUNT OF VACCINE HESITANCY PRESENT, IF NOT, IS THERE A DIFFERENT THRESHOLD FOR GETTING US BACK TO NORMAL OPERATIONS? WE SHOULD BE AIMING FOR, I'M HAPPY TO TAKE THAT ONE.

UH, YOU KNOW, THE, THE, THE, THE ISSUE IS CAN WE REACH HER COMMUNITY AS A STATE? CAN WE REACH HER TO MANY AS A COUNTRY, OR CAN WE DO IT LOCALLY? I THINK FOR CERTAINLY WE CAN DO IT LOCALLY.

UH, YOU KNOW, I THINK THE EXPERIENCE OVER THE PAST YEAR THAT DEMONSTRATED THAT AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY IN CENTRAL TEXAS ARE COMMITTED TO DOING WHAT IT TAKES TO, UH, TO CONQUER THIS DISEASE.

UH, THE WHOLE STATE, THE COUNTRY, THE WORLD IS GOING TO BE A MUCH MORE DIFFICULT CHALLENGE.

UM, YOU KNOW, AS I SAID BEFORE, WE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE VARIANTS WHERE YOU'RE CONCERNED ABOUT, UH, THE ABILITY TO ERADICATE COVID-19 AND GIVEN THE GLOBAL SITUATION AND THE DISPARITIES ACROSS THE GLOBE, IN TERMS OF THE ACCESS TO VACCINES.

I THINK ERADICATION IS, UH, IS VERY, VERY UNLIKELY TO HAPPEN.

UH, BUT I THINK LOCALLY, WE ARE ABLE TO, UH, WE WILL BE ABLE TO ACHIEVE HERD IMMUNITY BECAUSE OF THAT COMMITMENT TO OUR, UH, FROM OUR COMMUNITY.

UH, AND MY HOPE IS THAT PEOPLE WILL CONTINUE TO MAKE THE CHOICE TO, TO BE VACCINATED AND TO DO THAT SOON.

OKAY.

NEXT QUESTION COMES FROM KVU.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR PARENTS WHO ARE ON THE FENCE ABOUT GETTING THEIR KIDS 12 TO 15 YEARS OLD, THE VACCINE ONCE IT IS AVAILABLE? UH, MY ADVICE IS THIS, AND I KNOW THERE'S A LOT OF CONCERN ABOUT

[00:25:01]

THE SAFETY AND THE EFFICACY.

I THINK THAT WHAT WE HAVE SEEN IN THIS PROCESS IS THAT THERE HAS BEEN A VERY THOROUGH, UH, INVESTIGATION, UH, A COMPLETE SCIENTIFIC, UH, APPROACH TO THIS VACCINE.

THAT PIECE HAS NOT BEEN FAST TRACKED, AND THERE'S A LOT OF CONFUSION ABOUT THIS.

THE PIECE THAT WAS FAST TRACKED WAS THE FACT THAT LARGE VOLUMES OF VACCINE WAS MANUFACTURED PRIOR TO APPROVAL, SO THAT IF APPROVED IT CAN BE RAPIDLY DISTRIBUTED, AND THAT'S WHAT WE'VE SEEN.

AND THAT'S WHY AMERICA IS LEADING MOST OTHER COUNTRIES IN THE VACCINATION EFFORT BECAUSE OF THAT FORESIGHT, UH, THROUGH OPERATION MORE AND OTHER SIMILAR, UH, MEASURES FROM, FROM MANUFACTURERS THEMSELVES.

SO I DON'T THINK THERE SHOULD BE WORRY ABOUT, UH, UH, YOU KNOW, THIS PROCESS GOING TOO QUICKLY.

I THINK IT'S BEEN VERY THOROUGH.

I THINK THE QUESTION FOR THE FUTURE IS COULD WE HAVE DONE IT EVEN MORE RAPIDLY? UM, AND I THINK WHEN WE TALK ABOUT SPECIFICALLY THE ADDITION OF 12 TO 15 YEAR OLDS, I HAVE COMPLETE FAITH IN THE FDA'S PROCESS FOR REVIEWING AND APPROVING THESE, UH, THE, THESE VACCINES.

THEY WILL, THEY WILL DO SO LITTLE CONSIDER THIS ADDITION.

AND IF IT IS APPROVED, THAT WILL BE A CLEAR INDICATION THAT THE BENEFITS OF THE VACCINE FOR 12 TO 15 YEAR OLDS OUTWEIGH THE RISK OF THE VACCINE.

UH, WE HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT THE COVID HAS KILLED MORE THAN 550,000 INDIVIDUALS IN THIS COUNTRY.

UH, IT'S, IT'S, IT'S KILLED TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE ACROSS TEXAS, AND, AND CERTAINLY, UH, HAD A, A TERRIBLE IMPACT HERE.

I THINK IT'S UP TO ALL OF US TO, UH, TO TAKE THE VACCINE WHEN IT BECOMES AVAILABLE FOR US SO THAT WE CAN, UH, REACH A BETTER PLACE.

WE CAN SAVE LIVES AND HOPEFULLY GET BACK TO NORMAL.

AGAIN, ONE THING I WOULD ADD, YOU KNOW, AS A, AS AN, AS A PARENT, UM, YOU KNOW, WHO REALLY, REALLY UNDERSTANDS FROM A PUBLIC HEALTH PERSPECTIVE, THAT IMAGE IMMUNIZATIONS, UM, ARE VERY KEY, UM, IN THE LIFE OF, OF AS YOU'RE RAISING YOUR CHILD, REALLY GET THE INFORMATION THAT YOU NEED.

IF THERE ARE QUESTIONS THAT YOU HAVE ASK THOSE QUESTIONS, DON'T THINK THAT ANY QUESTION THAT YOU MAY HAVE, IT'S, IT'S A QUESTION THAT YOU SHOULDN'T ASK.

UM, AND YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU'RE THINKING ABOUT THE CARE OF YOUR CHILD, ANY QUESTION IS NOT OFF LIMITS.

SO ALWAYS KNOW THAT YOU CAN GET THE INFORMATION THAT YOU NEED, BUT MY HOPE IS, IS THAT PARENTS WILL GIVE THEIR CHILD THIS VACCINE, AS WE THINK ABOUT, UM, SENDING, YOU KNOW, HAVING KIDS IN SCHOOLS, UM, AND BEING ABLE TO BE WITH THEIR FRIENDS THE WAY THEY REALLY LOVE TO BE.

UM, AND HOW, YOU KNOW, YOUNG PEOPLE LIKE TO PARTICIPATE, UM, IN, IN WHETHER IT'S SPORTS OR THEATER, UM, JUST THE THINGS THAT THEY LOVE TO DO BEING A CHILD.

UM, SO I THINK THAT AS A PARENT, GET THE INFORMATION, ASK ANY OF THE QUESTIONS, BUT DO GET THAT VACCINE FOR YOUR CHILD.

AND I JUST WANT TO ADD ONE LAST, UM, COMPONENT.

I AM A PARENT OF A 16 YEAR OLD STUDENT ATHLETE, UM, AND IT WAS REALLY IMPERATIVE THAT I DO MY RESEARCH AND FIND OUT IS IT APPROPRIATE FOR HIM TO GET HIS VACCINE? UM, I'VE HAD A LOT OF CONCERN THROUGHOUT THE YEAR ABOUT HIS ABILITY TO PARTICIPATE AND THE RISK OF HIS COVID EXPOSURE AND WHAT THAT MIGHT DO FOR HIM, AND WHAT KIND OF RISK WOULD THAT POSE TO MY ENTIRE FAMILY.

AND SO WHEN THE VACCINE BECAME AVAILABLE FOR HIM, WE WERE, WE WERE READY TO MAKE THAT DECISION FOR HIM TO GET THE VACCINE.

AND SO REALLY THINK ABOUT THE RISKS, UM, THAT POSES TO YOUR CHILD AND TO YOUR FAMILY ABOUT HOW YOU WOULD WANT TO MOVE FORWARD TO GET THE VACCINE, TALK WITH YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER, BUT NOTE THAT, UM, IF THERE WAS ANY CONCERN THAT THE VACCINE WAS NOT SAFE, I WOULD HAVE HESITATED, BUT I WAS, I WAS CONFIDENT IN AND ASSURED THAT, UM, WE WERE DOING THE RIGHT THING BY GETTING HIM VACCINATED.

SO I ENCOURAGE, UM, PARENTS TALK WITH YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS AS A DIRECTOR, HAYDEN HOWARD SAID, BUT ALSO REALLY THINK ABOUT WHAT, WHAT, WHAT IS THE BEST THING FOR YOUR FAMILY AND MAKE THAT DECISION, UM, JUST SO YOU CAN, UM, PROTECT YOURSELVES AND PROTECT EACH OTHER.

THANK YOU.

ALL RIGHT.

ONTO OUR SECOND ROUND OF QUESTIONS.

THIS ONE FROM HERE AT CAE EXAM, HE DESCRIBED THE PROGRESS OF THE MOBILE VACCINE EFFORT.

UM, OUR MOBILE VACCINE, UM, EFFORTS ACTUALLY BEGAN IN FEBRUARY.

UM, WE HAD A, UH, A SOFT ROLLOUT, UM, WORKING WITH PARTNERS, UM, AND

[00:30:01]

WE HAVE SHIFTED TO, UM, WORK WITH MEALS ON WHEELS.

AND SINCE THEN WE HAVE WORKED WITH SO MANY ORGANIZATIONS, UM, THAT, UM, THAT PROGRAM HAS, HAS WORKED WITH NONPROFIT PARTNERS, BUT WE HAVE ALSO, UM, HAVE WORKED WITH, UM, FOR EXAMPLE, CITY OF AUSTIN, UM, THIS WEEK, UM, GOING OVER TO ONE OF THE CITY DEPARTMENTS.

AND SO THAT TEAM HAS BEEN VERY FLEXIBLE.

UM, AND SO ONE OF THE CHANGES, AS YOU ALL ARE AWARE WHEN VACCINES BECAME AVAILABLE FOR EVERYONE, YOU KNOW, THE FOCUS IS MAKING SURE THAT WE'RE TAKING CARE OF THE ELDERLY AND HOME BAIL, BUT IF THERE ARE OTHER MEMBERS IN THE HOUSEHOLD THAT HAVE NOT RECEIVED THEIR VACCINE, WHEN THEY CALL THREE, ONE, ONE TO INQUIRE ABOUT INFORMATION, THEY CAN JUST LET US KNOW THAT THEY HAVE FOUR OTHER PEOPLE IN THE HOME.

UM, AND WE ARE PROVIDING AT THIS TIME AS MADONNA OR, UM, UM, JANSSEN OR J AND J.

SO IT IS SO IMPORTANT FOR US TO, UM, CONTINUE TO USE THAT TEAM, UM, TO JUST BE, UM, MOBILE IN OUR COMMUNITY AND GO WHERE PEOPLE ARE, UM, CONTINUE TO WORK WITH PARTNERS, BUT ALSO, UM, FOLKS THAT ARE NOT CONNECTED TO ANY OTHER TYPE OF SERVICE, UM, BY THEM JUST CALLING THREE, ONE, ONE, AND OUR TEAM WILL SCHEDULE, UM, AND COME OVER.

THE OTHER THING THAT THE TEAM HAS DONE, UM, IS THAT THEY PROVIDE EDUCATION SOMETIMES.

UM, SOME FOLKS ARE VERY NERVOUS.

UM, WE'VE NOTICED THAT SOME FOLKS HAVE, UM, UM, A LOT OF ANXIETY ABOUT HAVING THE BANK, GETTING THE VACCINE.

AND SO OUR TEAM ARE ABLE TO REALLY TALK WITH THEM AND EXPLAIN, AND ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS THAT THEY HAVE, AND THEN THEY SPEND THAT ADDITIONAL TIME WITH THEM, UM, AS THEY ARE JUST, JUST MONITORING THEM AND MAKING SURE THAT THEY'RE OKAY.

SO WE WILL CONTINUE TO, UM, USE THAT TEAM AND, AND, AND BE AN APARTMENT COMPLEXES AND, YOU KNOW, UM, JUST OTHER SMALLER SETTINGS, BUT WE WILL CONTINUE TO BE ABLE TO GO TO HOMES AS WELL.

THANK YOU.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM THE AUSTIN AMERICAN STATESMAN, THE NEW APH RISK-BASED GUIDELINES APPEAR TO CONFLICT WITH PAST STATEMENTS ABOUT FULLY VACCINATED INDIVIDUALS AND HOW THEY CAN GATHER IN GROUPS JUST TO BE CLEAR, CAN FULLY VACCINATED INDIVIDUALS GATHER IN PRIVATE GROUPS, PARTIALLY THAT'S THE NATIVE AND NON-VACCINATED INDIVIDUALS INDOORS WITHOUT WEARING A MASK.

I'LL REPEAT THAT IF YOU NEED ME TO, NO, I, I GOT IT.

THANK YOU.

UH, SALLY, UH, PEOPLE WHO ARE VACCINATED HAVE CERTAINLY HAVE MORE FREEDOM, UH, TO, TO GO MASSLESS THE, THAN THOSE WHO WERE ONLY PARTIALLY VACCINATED OR UNVACCINATED.

SO YES, INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE VACCINATED CAN GO MASSLESS, UH, UH, IN, IN SITUATIONS LIKE THAT, UH, AGAIN, PART OF THE, THE RISK ANALYSIS IS WHO ELSE IS IN THAT GROUP.

SO ANY TIME, UH, ONE OF THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO'S UNVACCINATED IS SOMEBODY WHO'S AT HIGH RISK FOR SEVERE DISEASE.

THAT'S IMPORTANT FOR THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE EVEN THOSE WHO ARE VACCINATED TO CONSIDER WEARING A MASK IN THAT CIRCUMSTANCE WHILE THEY, THE VACCINES ARE VERY, VERY GOOD.

THEY ARE NOT 100% PROTECTIVE.

SO IN THAT SORT OF CIRCUMSTANCE HIGH-RISK PERSON, UH, WHO WAS UN-VACCINATED, UH, THERE NEEDS TO BE A STRONG CONSIDERATION TO CONTINUE TO WEAR MASKS AROUND THAT PERSON BECAUSE OF THAT RISK AND TO ALSO ENCOURAGE THAT INDIVIDUAL TO GET THEIR VACCINE.

OKAY.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM COMMUNITY IMPACT, DR.

S SCOTT, YOU SAID YOU HAVE COMPETENCE WHEN YOU SAID YOU HAVE CONFIDENCE, WE CAN ACHIEVE HERD IMMUNITY LOCALLY, BUT IT WILL BE CHALLENGING ON A BROADER SCALE, WILL THAT AFFECT OUR ABILITY TO FIGHT THE VIRUS? LONG-TERM PEOPLE ARE TRAVELING IN AND OUT OF CENTRAL TEXAS EVERY DAY, AND WE ARE NOT SILOED AS A COMMUNITY.

I THINK IT WILL CREATE A CHALLENGE FOR US.

UH, BUT WHEN WE THINK ABOUT HERD IMMUNITY, UH, YOU KNOW, WE'RE REALLY THINKING ABOUT CONTROLLED, UH, DISEASE SPREAD.

WE THINK ABOUT SMALL NUMBERS OF CASES, SMALL CLUSTERS OR INDIVIDUAL CASES WHERE, UH, SOMEBODY WHO HAS A DISEASE INTERACTS WITH ANOTHER PERSON, AND THERE MAY BE SOME TRANSMISSION, BUT THERE IS SO MUCH VACCINATION AND PROTECTION AROUND THEM, BUT THAT DISEASE DOESN'T SPREAD.

SO THAT'S WHERE I SEE THAT, THAT WE COULD CERTAINLY BE.

AND WE'RE SEEING THAT TO SOME EXTENT NOW, AS THAT VACCINATION NUMBER

[00:35:01]

RISES, OUR CASES CONTINUE TO FALL, UH, YES, VARIANTS CREATE CHALLENGES, CHALLENGES TO THAT.

UH, AND THERE, YOU KNOW, THERE IS LIKELY TO BE ANOTHER CALL FOR BOOSTER VACCINATIONS, UH, AS NEW STRAINS EMERGE, BUT WE'LL STILL CONTINUE TO HAVE SOME PROTECTION FROM THAT INITIAL, UH, UH, VACCINATION EFFORT.

I THINK IT IS REALLY UP TO ALL OF US TO, UH, YOU KNOW, WHEN WE REACHED THAT STAGE OF, UH, IMPROVED CONDITIONS HERE, WE DROPPED DOWN TO STAGE ONE AND HOPEFULLY TO STAGE ZERO, UH, THAT WE TURN OUR, TO HOW WE, AS A COMMUNITY CAN SUPPORT THE REST OF THE STATE AND THE REST OF THE COUNTRY, THE REST OF THE WORLD, UH, TO, TO GET THEIR VACCINATION, THE BETTER WE PROTECT THE GLOBE, THE BETTER WE PROTECT OURSELVES.

AND THAT HAS TO BE OUR COMMITMENT.

YEAH, I'LL JUST ADD THAT, YOU KNOW, WE ARE LOCALLY AGAIN, FOCUSING ON, UH, AS WE TRANSITION OUR EPI RESPONSE TO FOCUS ON THE VARIANT SURVEILLANCE TO SEE WHAT STRAINS ARE ACTUALLY CIRCULATING HERE IN THE AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY AREA.

WE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THIS, A NEW STRAIN CIRCULATING IN HOUSTON BECAUSE WE KNOW IT'S JUST DOWN THE ROAD FROM US.

UH, SO THE, THE ABILITY FOR IT TO BE ENTERING INTO OUR COMMUNITY IS ALWAYS THERE.

UH, YOU KNOW, WE'RE LOOKING AT A VACCINE BREAKTHROUGH CASES, UH, CASES AND CASES OF REINFECTION, UM, JUST TO TRY TO SEE IF WE CAN GAIN ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND KNOWLEDGE ABOUT, UH, WHAT THOSE FACTORS ARE THAT MAKE PEOPLE MORE AT RISK FOR THOSE TYPES OF BREAKTHROUGHS OR RE-INFECTION.

BUT AGAIN, THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO AS A COMMUNITY MEMBER IS TO MAKE SURE YOU'RE VACCINATED, BECAUSE THAT WILL, YOU KNOW, PLACE YOU IN AN ADVANTAGE FROM THOSE THAT ARE NOT UNVACCINATED, ESPECIALLY IT GIVES YOU SOME LEVEL OF A PROTECTION AGAINST POTENTIAL VARIANT STRAINS THAT MIGHT BE CIRCULATING.

UH, AND, UM, ONCE WE BECOME VACCINATED, UH, YOU KNOW, IT'LL, IT'LL BE BETTER FOR US IN GENERAL.

LET ME JUST ADD ONE OTHER THING ON THAT.

UH, REMEMBER THE, THE VACCINATION IS NOT JUST TO PROTECT FROM TRANSMISSION OF DISEASE.

IT'S EVEN BETTER AT PREVENTING HOSPITALIZATION AND DEATH FROM DISEASE.

UH, SO AGAIN, IF, IF WE REACH A STAGE WHERE WE HAVE PEOPLE WHO ARE GETTING MILD ILLNESS, BUT NOT ENDING UP HOSPITALIZED OR DYING FROM IT, THAT'S A SUCCESS ALSO.

AND EVEN AS WE SEE THESE VARIANTS EMERGE, UH, WE WILL, WE MAY FIND THAT PEOPLE WILL, WILL GET THE INFECTION, BUT THEY'LL HAVE A LESS ACUTE COURSE.

UH, AND THAT'S, THAT'S ALMOST AS GOOD.

AND, AND CERTAINLY, UH, THAT'S GOING TO IMPACT OUR, UH, HOSPITALIZATIONS, OUR DEATHS, UH, AND CERTAINLY, UH, YOU KNOW, HAS THE POTENTIAL TO SAVE LIVES.

THAT'S AGAIN, WHY IT'S CRITICAL THAT THAT FOLKS GET THEIR VACCINATION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

OKAY.

K O O P RADIO IS ASKING HOW WELL IS APHS OUTREACH PROGRAM DOING TO GET THE VACCINE TO THOSE WHO CANNOT GET TO IT? THE DEPARTMENT, UM, HAS OH SEVEN AGREEMENTS WITH NONPROFIT PROVIDERS, UM, THAT ARE WORKING, UM, THROUGHOUT TRAVIS COUNTY.

ONE OF THE THINGS IS THAT WE ARE ALSO GOING TO BE WORKING WITH UNITED WAY, UM, UNITED WAY ALSO, UM, HAS AWARDED, UM, ABOUT 15, UM, CONTRACTS TO NONPROFIT PROVIDERS.

NOW THEY'RE GOING TO BE WORKING REGIONALLY.

UM, HOWEVER, UM, SINCE THEY WILL HAVE SEVERAL THAT ARE FOCUSED IN PROVIDING, UM, OUTREACH AND EDUCATION IN TRAVIS COUNTY, UH, WE ARE PULLING ALL OF THOSE FOLKS IN TOGETHER.

THEY WILL BE ABLE TO, TO, TO SHARE INFORMATION WITH EACH OTHER, UM, CREATED, UM, UH, A DROP BOX WHERE THEY CAN SHARE, UM, INFORMATION THAT HAS REALLY HELPED AND BEEN SUCCESSFUL.

SO IT'S MORE UNIFORM.

THE OTHER THING IS, IS JUST MAKING SURE THAT THERE ARE NO GAPS IN THE COMMUNITY.

UM, SO THIS, UM, COORDINATION BETWEEN ALL OF THE NONPROFIT PROVIDERS WITH UNITED WAY, UM, AND OUR, UM, SERVICE PROVIDERS IS REALLY GOING TO HELP US TO BE ABLE TO, UM, SHARE WITH THE INDIVIDUALS WHEN THEY'RE WORKING WITH THEIR, THE, THE CLIENTS THAT THEY SERVE SO THEY CAN, UM, CONNECT THEM TO VACCINES AND GET PEOPLE IN.

UM, SO WHETHER IT'S, IF THEY'RE DOING THE WALKIE AND WHERE THEY ARE TELLING THEM EXACTLY WHERE

[00:40:01]

TO GO, UM, OR THEY ARE DOING THE ONE-ON-ONE CONVERSATIONS, UM, SEVERAL LITTLE APARTMENTS ARE GOING DOOR TO DOOR, HAVING THOSE CONVERSATIONS WITH FOLKS, UM, TRYING TO GET THEM SIGNED UP AND CONNECTED TO A VACCINE.

AND SO WE KNOW, UM, THAT THERE MAY BE INSTANCES WHERE THERE WILL HAVE TO BE SEVERAL CONVERSATIONS WITH AN INDIVIDUAL, UM, BEFORE THEY ARE READY, BUT WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY HAVE ALL THE UPDATED INFORMATION ABOUT HOW THEY CAN CONNECT THAT INDIVIDUAL TO THE VACCINE.

I JUST WANT TO ADD IN, WE'RE ALSO WORKING ON A LOT OF, UM, OTHER STRATEGIES AS WELL, TO TRY TO REALLY FOCUS, UM, MESSAGES, UM, TO SPECIFIC POPULATIONS THAT HAVE BEEN DISPROPORTIONATELY AFFECTED BY COVID-19, INCLUDING THE OUTREACH TEAMS THAT ARE ON THE GROUND.

THAT'S IMPORTANT GRASSROOTS EFFORTS TO TRY TO CONNECT PEOPLE TO VACCINE, BUT ALSO, UM, WITH FOCUS TEXTING, JUST TO LET PEOPLE KNOW, LIKE, HEY, THERE'S A VACCINE LOCATION AVAILABLE IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD.

UM, THERE'S A LOT OF STRATEGIES THAT WE'RE LEVERAGING.

AND AS STEPHANIE SAID, IT REQUIRES MULTIPLE TIMES TO TELL PEOPLE THERE'S VACCINE AVAILABLE TO MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE THAT MESSAGE READY AND OUT THERE.

SO WHEN PEOPLE ARE COME TO THAT SPACE, THAT THEY'RE READY TO GET THE VACCINE, THAT THEY HAVE THE INFORMATION READILY AVAILABLE.

SO WE'RE WORKING ON A LOT OF DIFFERENT STRATEGIES, UM, FROM MASS MEDIA TO THE, ON THE GROUND, ROUTE RAGE.

THERE'S JUST A LOT OF WAYS THAT, UM, WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT THOSE TOOLS WE'RE USING TO ALL OF THOSE THINGS, TO EVERYONE IN THE COMMUNITY, SO THEY KNOW WHERE THEY CAN GET THEIR BACK.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

NEXT QUESTION COMES FROM CBS, AUSTIN.

WHAT PERCENTAGE OF PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT VACCINATED, DO YOU THINK WILL BE INCENTIVIZED BY GIFT CARD, TIME OFF FROM WORK, ET CETERA? HOW MUCH OF A DIFFERENCE DO YOU THINK A SMALL INCENTIVE CAN MAKE? I WOULD SAY SINCE WE ARE, UM, JUST INITIALLY HAVING THOSE CONVERSATIONS, UM, THAT IS NOT A PERCENTAGE THAT WE WOULD BE ABLE TO PROVIDE, BUT ONE OF THE THINGS, OUR HOPE IS IS THAT THERE MAY BE SOME BUSINESS OWNERS THAT ARE LISTENING TO US RIGHT NOW.

UM, AND THEY ARE THINKING ABOUT, YOU KNOW, HOW THEY CAN DO THINGS A LITTLE DIFFERENTLY WITHIN THEIR ORGANIZATION.

UM, OUR HOPE IS, IS THAT, UM, FOLKS ARE VERY FLEXIBLE WITH THEIR EMPLOYEES.

UM, YOU KNOW, AS A COMMUNITY, IT'S GOING TO TAKE ALL OF US TO, TO BE ON BOARD, UM, YOU KNOW, EVEN, UM, ASKING BUSINESS OWNERS AND, YOU KNOW, THEY'RE EVEN WILLING JUST TO COME FORWARD TO SAY, YOU KNOW, I'M WILLING TO OFFER THIS COUPON FOR AN INDIVIDUAL THAT MAY COME IN, YOU KNOW, EVEN WITH THEIR CARD OR WITH THEIR STICKER.

WE HAVE A MARKETING STRATEGY WHERE WE'RE PROVIDING, UM, A STICKER TO INDIVIDUALS THAT HAVE RECEIVED THEIR VACCINE.

AND OUR HOPE IS, IS THAT MAYBE SOME OF THE BIDS BUSINESSES WOULD OFFER SOME TYPE OF SMALL, YOU KNOW, WHETHER IT'S A, YOU KNOW, TACO OR A DRINK OR, UM, YOU KNOW, UH, OR THERE'S SOMETHING ELSE, UM, TO AN INDIVIDUAL OR EVEN A COUPON OFF OF THEIR PURCHASE.

SO MY HOPE IS, IS THAT OTHERS ARE LISTENING AND THAT THEY ARE THINKING ABOUT WAYS OF HOW THEY CAN CONTRIBUTE TO HELP AUSTIN BE A HEALTHIER PLACE AND INCENTIVIZE FOLKS COMING INTO THEIR BUSINESSES THAT THEY KNOW THAT HAVE RECEIVED THEIR VACCINE.

OKAY.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM K U T.

AUSTIN HAS NAMED A NEW HEALTH AUTHORITY, DR.

DEMAR WALKS, AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR, STEPHANIE HAYDEN HOWARD IS ALSO TRANSITIONING TO A NEW ROLE WITHIN THE CITY.

HOW WILL YOU ENSURE SMOOTH TRANSITIONS AMID THIS CONTINUING PANDEMIC? I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND IS, IS, IS DR.

S SCOTT AND I WILL BOTH REMAIN CITY OF AUSTIN EMPLOYEES.

AND SO, UM, THAT IN ITSELF, UM, SHOULD DEFINITELY, UM, EASE THE AMOUNT OF INDIVIDUALS THAT MAY BE CONCERNED.

I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS IS, IS THAT, UM, BEING ABLE TO, UM, HAVE OTHER INDIVIDUALS TO COME INTO THIS SPACE THAT HAVE THE EXPERIENCE, UM, THAT HAVE, HAVE DONE VERY WELL IN THEIR CAREER PATHS, UM, IS, IS DEFINITELY A BENEFIT TO THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

UM, AS WE CONTINUE TO TRANSITION, UM, I WILL CONTINUE TO BE AROUND, UM, HEALTH IS ONE OF THE AREAS, UM, THAT I WILL OVERSEE.

AND SO I WILL DEFINITELY CONTINUE TO BE INVOLVED WITH, UM, THINGS THAT ARE GOING ON AS WE START TO TRANSITION.

AND LET ME ADD ONTO

[00:45:01]

THAT.

UH, I'VE, I'VE COME TO KNOW DOCTOR DOES MORE WALKS OVER THE PAST YEAR, UH, SINCE SHE HAS BEEN THE HEALTH AUTHORITY FOR, FOR BASTROP COUNTY, UH, YOU KNOW, WE'VE COLLABORATED ON A NUMBER OF ISSUES OVER THE YEAR, AND I'VE BEEN VERY IMPRESSED WITH, WITH HER, UH, WITH HER, UH, UH, CAPABILITIES, UH, WITH HER PASSION, WITH HER DERIVE.

UH, AND I THINK IT WILL BE WELL SERVED BY HER.

I LOOK FORWARD TO CONTINUING TO WORK WITH HER IN OUR BOTH NEW ROLES, UH, AND, UH, YOU KNOW, AGAIN, AS, AS DIRECTOR OF PAYMENT, HOWARD SAID, UM, WE'RE, WE'RE NOT GOING ANYWHERE.

SO, UH, WE WILL CERTAINLY BE AROUND TO CONTINUE TO SUPPORT, UH, THE, UH, INTERIM DIRECTOR AND, UH, AND OUR, OUR NEW HEALTH AUTHORITY.

OKAY.

Y'ALL, WE'RE UP TO OUR LAST QUESTION FROM KVU LAST, ROUGHLY HOW LONG WOULD IT TAKE FOR PFIZER TO BE APPROVED FOR FULL FDA APPROVAL FOR THE COVID VACCINE? AND DO YOU THINK IT WOULD MAKE HESITANT PEOPLE MORE WILLING TO TAKE IT? UM, I'M HAVING TO TAKE THAT ONE, UH, YOU KNOW, WAIT, WAIT, WE KNOW THAT THEY'VE SUBMITTED THE APPLICATION TO TRANSITION FROM EUA TO FULL APPROVAL.

UH, YOU KNOW, THAT MAY HAPPEN IN THE NEXT MONTH OR SO.

UH, WE'LL HAVE TO WAIT TO SEE IF THAT GETS SCHEDULED, UH, AND, AND WHEN THAT WILL BE DELIBERATED AND, UH, CERTAINLY, UH, GIVEN THE EFFICACY AND ANY, AND THE SAFETY THAT IT'S DEMONSTRATED, UH, IN REAL LIFE, EXAMPLES AFTER MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF DOSES, I DON'T SEE ANY CHALLENGES AT ALL TO, UH, TO TRANSITION FROM THAT EMERGENCY USE AUTHORIZATION TO FULL APPROVAL.

I THINK WITH THAT, IT WILL CERTAINLY BRING SOME CONFIDENCE FROM THOSE WHO MAY BE HESITATING.

THOSE WHO DIDN'T WANT TO BE THE FIRST IN LINE, UH, TO GET VACCINATED, BUT ARE HAPPY TO BE SOMEWHERE ELSE IN LINE, BUT I THINK IT WILL, WILL IMPACT THEM.

I THINK IT WILL PROVIDE, UH, SOME, SOME REASSURANCE, UH, THAT, UH, THAT THE SAFETY IS THERE.

I THINK WE CAN ALSO EXPECT THAT, UH, WHEN THESE VACCINES TRANSITION FROM AUA TO FULL APPROVAL, UH, THAT EMPLOYERS IN SCHOOLS, UNIVERSITIES, UH, MAY ALSO TRANSITION THEIR GUIDANCE FOR THE VACCINE.

UH, WE KNOW THAT ALREADY SOME HEALTHCARE ARE STARTING TO REQUIRE VACCINE, UH, FOR THEIR, THEIR EMPLOYEES.

I EXPECT THAT WE'RE GOING TO SEE MORE AND MORE FOLKS TRANSITIONED FROM VOLUNTARY TO REQUIRED IF, AND WHEN IT IS APPROVED TO THIS ONE AND OTHERS ARE APPROVED FOR, UH, FOR FULL APPROVAL FROM THE FDA.

THANK YOU, DR.

SCOTT, AT THIS TIME, WE WILL NOW TRANSITION INTO OUR CLOSING REMARKS, BUT AS A TEAM, WE WOULD ALSO LIKE TO SAY, WE, THANK YOU, DR.

S SCOTT AND STEPHANIE FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP DURING THIS TIME.

AND WE WISH YOU LUCK OVER TO YOU, STEPHANIE.

OH, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

WE ARE, UM, VERY EXCITED ABOUT THE TRANSITION TO ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER.

UM, AS MOST OF YOU HAVE KNOWN OUT THERE WITH THE CITY FOR 20 YEARS, AND I'VE SPENT THE MAJORITY OF MY CAREER IN THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT.

AND SO WORKING VERY CLOSELY THROUGHOUT THIS YEAR, UM, I THINK HAS REALLY, REALLY MADE US ALL STRONGER.

UM, THE DEPARTMENT IS STRONGER, THE RELATIONSHIPS THAT WE HAVE WITHIN THE CITY, BUT THEN OUTSIDE OF THE CITY HAVE BEEN STRENGTHENED.

AND SO WE ARE REALLY EXCITED OF WHERE WE ARE, BUT WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT WHERE WE'RE GOING TO GO.

UM, AND SO AS WE MOVE ALONG, UM, WE KNOW, UM, THINGS WILL BE LEFT IN GREAT HANDS, UM, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, ADRIAN STIRRUP, UH, WE'LL TRANSITION EFFECTIVE MAY 10TH.

UM, I WILL CONTINUE TO WORK VERY CLOSELY WITH THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT.

UM, I THINK THAT BEING IN THE ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER ROLE, UM, WILL, UM, ALLOW ME TO CONTINUE TO HAVE FURTHER CONVERSATIONS WITH THE CITY MANAGER, BUT THE ENTIRE CITY MANAGEMENT TEAM.

AND SO, UM, THE IMPORTANCE OF PUBLIC HEALTH HAS REALLY, REALLY SHOWN.

AND SO FOR OUR COMMUNITY, MORE PEOPLE KNOW WHAT PUBLIC HEALTH IS.

MORE PEOPLE KNOW WHAT EPIDEMIOLOGY IS.

AND SO I AM VERY EXCITED ABOUT WHERE WE ARE AS A COMMUNITY.

WE STILL HAVE MORE PEOPLE TO GET THE VACCINE AND, YOU KNOW, WE STILL HAVE LESSONS TO LEARN.

SO OVER THE YEARS, WE'VE HAD SOME TRIED AND TRUE LESSONS

[00:50:01]

THAT HAVE KEPT US SAFE DURING THIS TIME.

AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO COME TOGETHER AS A COMMUNITY.

WE ARE STRONGER TOGETHER WITH THAT.

I'LL TRANSITION OVER TO DR.

SCOTT.

THANK YOU, STEPHANIE.

AND, UH, JUST WANT TO SAY, IT'S CERTAINLY BEEN A PLEASURE TO, UH, HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK CLOSELY WITH, UH, DIRECTOR PEYTON HOWARD NOW ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER HAVEN.

UH, I'VE LEARNED A LOT FROM HER AND I LOOK FORWARD TO CONTINUING TO WORK WITH HER IN OUR NEW ROLES, UH, AND ALSO SUPPORTING, AS SHE SAID, UH, INTERIM DIRECTOR STIRRUP AND, AND, UH, AND DOCTOR WALKS IN THEIR NEW POSITIONS, UH, WHEN THOSE ARE STRONG TEAM, UH, WE'VE, WE HAVE A STRONG TEAM THAT WE HAVE VERY TALENTED AND PASSIONATE PEOPLE, UH, WORKING FOR THE CITY OF AUSTIN FOR TRAVIS COUNTY AND CERTAINLY THROUGHOUT THE COMMUNITY.

UH, AND THAT IS, IS WHAT HAS LED US TO A TOTAL WE ARE, AND THAT IS A CITY THAT HAS WEATHER THIS STORM BETTER THAN, THAN ALL OTHERS IN, IN TEXAS AND IN CERTAINLY MOST, UH, IN, IN THE UNITED STATES.

UM, SO AGAIN, WE HAVE MORE WORK TO DO 85% OF OUR NEW CASES IN THE PAST WEEK ARE FROM INDIVIDUALS LESS THAN AGE 50.

UH, WE'RE DOING GREAT WORK IN OUR VACCINATION EFFORT.

WE HAVE MORE WORK TO DO.

WE NEED PEOPLE TO CONTINUE TO SHOW UP, TO ROLL UP THEIR SLEEVES AND TO GET THEIR SHOTS SO THAT WE CAN PUSH PAST COVID-19 RESPONSE PIECE IN TURN TO RECOVER.

UH, WE KNOW RECOVER WILL BE LONG AND IT WILL BE CHALLENGING, BUT WE ARE CERTAINLY UP TO THE CHALLENGE.

AND, UH, IF WE CONTINUE TO BAND TOGETHER AS A COMMUNITY, WE WILL GET THROUGH IT TOGETHER WITH THAT.

I'LL TURN IT OVER TO JANET MICHELLE.

UH, THANKS.

AND I'D LIKE TO ALSO THINK, UH, DIRECTOR HAYDEN HOWARD, OR ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER, HAYDEN HAUER, AND DR.

S SCOTT, UH, FOR THEIR LEADERSHIP OVER THE LAST 14 OR 15 MONTHS, IT'S BEEN INCREDIBLE TO HAVE THEIR SUPPORT AND LEADERSHIP, UH, AT THE HELM HERE AT AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH AND TO RESPOND.

UH, THERE'VE BEEN SOME TOUGH BATTLES.

WE FOUGHT ALONG THE WAY, SO I'VE APPRECIATED THEIR SUPPORT AND LEADERSHIP, UH, AS WE'VE, UH, YOU KNOW, PROGRESSED THROUGH THIS PANDEMIC.

UH, AND I CONTINUED TO BE HERE TO SUPPORT THEM IN THEIR NEW POSITION AND ROLES AS WELL.

UM, AGAIN, AS WE SEE CASES BEGINNING TO PLATEAU HERE IN THE AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY COMMUNITY, UH, YOU KNOW, WE DO, UH, HAVE NEW VARIANT STRAINS THAT WE'RE GONNA BE FOCUSING ON.

UM, AND WE WANTED TO CONTINUE TO MONITOR, AND OUR FOCUS IN EPIDEMIOLOGY, WE'LL FOCUS ON DOING THAT VARIANT SURVEILLANCE, UH, INVESTIGATING, UH, BREAKTHROUGH INFECTIONS AND, UH, RE-INFECTION AND WHILE WE ARE STILL INVESTIGATING CASE INVESTIGATIONS, UH, WE WILL BE CONTINUING TO LOOK AT, UH, CLUSTERS AND OUTBREAKS THAT OCCUR THROUGHOUT THE COMMUNITY TO MAKE SURE THAT IF WE DO YOU SEE AS A HOTSPOT SOMEWHERE, WE CAN TAMP IT DOWN PRETTY QUICKLY.

UM, UH, AGAIN, IT'S VERY IMPORTANT TO GET VACCINATED.

WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO GET VACCINATED IF YOU HAVEN'T BEEN, IT'S JUST ADDED PROTECTION PROTECTION TO A, FOR COMMUNITY AND FOR YOUR LOVED ONES.

UM, YOU KNOW, WE WANT, UM, TO BE LIVING IN A HEALTHIER AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY.

AND, UH, I THINK THAT'S ONE WAY TO GET THERE.

UH, AND WITHOUT ALTERNATE OVER TO CASSIE, THANK YOU, JANET.

AND I JUST ALSO WANT TO REITERATE, UM, JANET'S WORDS AND, AND JUST, UM, GIVE SINCERE GRATITUDE TO THE SERVICE AND DEDICATION THAT BOTH DR.

SCOTT AND STEPHANIE, AND FOR PRODUCT TO THIS RESPONSE AND TO, UM, PUBLIC HEALTH OVER THE YEARS, UM, WE KNOW THAT IT'S A BIG WEEK OF CHANGE AND I'M SEEING, UM, BOTH OF Y'ALL MOVE INTO, YOU KNOW, NEW AND EXPANDED LEADERSHIP ROLES.

I THINK FOR PUBLIC HEALTH IS EXCITING BECAUSE YOU HAVE A TRUE UNDERSTANDING AND KNOWLEDGE OF, UM, THE PUBLIC HEALTH, UM, ROLE AND THE IMPORTANCE THAT IT PLAYS IN PROTECTING THE COMMUNITY.

AND WE'RE EXCITED TO HAVE OUR, UH, INTERIM ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, UH, MOVE INTO OUR, OUR ASSISTANT DIRECTORS, UH, MOVE INTO THE DIRECTOR, UH, COMPONENT.

CAUSE SHE'S BEEN AN IMPORTANT COLLEAGUE.

ADRIAN STIRRUP IS FANTASTIC, AND WE'RE EXCITED TO SEE HER AND DR.

WACHS TO HAVE HER JOIN OUR TEAM.

UM, FOR US MOVING INTO THIS THIS WEEK AND KNOWING THAT IS A WEEK OF CHANGE, UH, LOTS OF NEW THINGS ARE COMING ON.

LOTS OF THINGS, CHANGING THE VACCINE SCENE.

WE WANT TO ALWAYS ENCOURAGE FOLKS JUST TO GET OUT THERE AND GET YOUR VACCINE.

WE KNOW THERE'S, UM, A LOT OF OPTIONS FOR YOU.

AGAIN, IF YOU'RE CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR ABILITY TO PAY, OR IF YOU NEED AN ID, NONE OF THOSE THINGS SHOULD BE A BARRIER.

YOU DON'T NEED YOUR ID.

YOU DON'T HAVE TO

[00:55:01]

WORRY ABOUT COSTS.

THE VACCINE IS FREE.

UM, AND IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT HAVING TO DEMONSTRATE IMMIGRATION STATUS, THAT'S NOT REQUIRED, UM, YOU DON'T HAVE TO PROVIDE ANY PROOF OF RESIDENCY.

YOU JUST NEED TO COME OUT AND GET YOUR VACCINE.

SO WE WANT TO COURAGE EVERYONE, GET YOUR VACCINE.

CALL THREE, ONE, ONE, NOTING ARE OUR LOCATIONS ARE AVAILABLE MOST DAYS, TUESDAYS THROUGH SATURDAYS, UM, EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK.

SO PLEASE CONTACT YOUR ONE AND FIND OUT WHERE YOU CAN GO TO GET AND WALK UP AND GET THAT VACCINE.

UM, WITH THAT, WE HOPE YOU HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND AND, UH, MAKE SURE TO TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER.

THANK YOU, CASSIE.

THIS CONCLUDES OUR MEDIA AVAILABILITY FOR TODAY.

THANK YOU TO APH DIRECTOR.

STEPHANIE HAYDEN HOWARD, DR.

MARK S. SCOTT, CHIEF EPIDEMIOLOGIST, JANET PICHETTE, CASSANDRA DE LEON APH, CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER FOR DISEASE PREVENTION AND HEALTH PROMOTION DIVISION AND TO OUR POOL REPORTER SALLY HERNANDEZ FROM K X A N.

THANKS FOR JOINING US AND HAVE A SAFE WEEKEND.

AN ESCAPE PATCH, WELDING SHUT THE DOOR FOR THE REST AVERSE.

* This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Speech-to-Text.