Austin Regional Clinic COVID-19 Vaccine Update
January 07, 2021
For appointments, call 512-ARC-INFO (512-272-4636)
January 7, 2020 Austin Regional Clinic, to date, has vaccinated more than 6,000 healthcare workers and first responders and those most at risk in Group 1B. We have administered about 700-1000 vaccines per day since receiving our first allotment of 7,000 doses on December 23, 2020. ARC has enough vaccine to fulfill its appointments this week and then will have exhausted its initial supply.
A very limited shipment is expected this week that gives ARC less than five percent of the vaccine needed just for ARC patients aged 75 and over, not including non-ARC patients who have requested a vaccine at ARCshotrequest.com. We urge patience throughout this process.
- Patients and eligible community members do not need to call ARC to request vaccination or book appointments for dose 1 of the vaccine. We will reach out to patients via ARC MyChart, email or phone calls to notify them when they can schedule a vaccine appointment.
- Many patients are calling and asking about vaccine for the second dose. When people receive the first dose, the State sets aside vaccine for the second dose and supplies us with that second dose within the appropriate time. ARC will then administer the second dose to the patients.
- ARC reports to the State on a daily basis who is immunized and if it is the first or second dose. Every organization administering vaccine in Texas is required to do this.
- ARC sends patients a scheduling invitation via the patient portal to book the 2nd dose or schedules the 2nd dose at the time the 1st dose is given. Patients who prefer not to use MyChart can call to book their 2nd dose.
- Phones at clinics and ARC-INFO are overloaded with calls from people asking about vaccine. We are experiencing hold-times that range from 30 – 90 minutes.
- We are in the midst of a peak in the pandemic when phones need to remain open for people who need to reach us for medical reasons.
- Again, it is important to stress that patients will be notified when vaccine is available for them.
- Vaccine supplies are extremely limited and ARC is working diligently to administer the vaccine to patients prioritized by age and health risk.
ARC understands the anxiety surrounding this vaccine, especially about “when will it be my turn.” We will continue to contact our patients and community members who have requested the vaccine about scheduling an appointment as we receive additional shipments.
We ask for and appreciate the media’s help to inform the public that the vaccine rollout will take months, to please be patient, and to continue to wear a mask and take all safety precautions to remain healthy. As ARC has done throughout this pandemic, we will continue to remain open and available for all of our patients’ and the community’s health needs, including COVID-19 testing.
Regarding ARC mass vaccination clinic January 2:
- On Saturday Jan 2nd, ARC held a COVID-19 vaccination clinic to efficiently and rapidly vaccinate first responders and healthcare workers of local practices without access to the vaccine. We also reached out to some of our highest-risk patients.
- We notified a registered waiting list of over 1,100 firefighters, police, community doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers and first responders, including people of all different ages.
- With the streamlined system we were able to vaccinate 907 people (about 150 an hour) without wasting a single dose. (Note: once a multi-dose vial is open it must be used within six hours.) The vast majority of vaccine went to those in groups 1A and 1B.
- We are aware that some people who were not included in priority group 1A or 1B heard about the clinic and were vaccinated.
- We recognized and have refined our process to address the issue and assure vaccination of prioritized individuals going forward.
- In addition to our normal in-clinic vaccination process, Saturday’s event demonstrates the success of our large-scale vaccination plan, and we will hold additional events in the future.
- We are working closely with and appreciate all the efforts of Texas DSHS, Austin Public Health, and other local health authorities to secure and distribute vaccines.
About Austin Regional Clinic
Austin Regional Clinic (ARC) is a multispecialty medical group committed to providing comprehensive healthcare services throughout the greater Austin area. Founded by three physicians in 1980, it now provides health care to over 535,000 area residents in 29 locations in 12 cities, including both primary and specialty care. ARC is unique to the Austin area because of the widespread locations, convenient services, and quality assurance programs. ARC patients enjoy access to such conveniences as same-day appointments, 24/7 online and phone appointment scheduling, ARC MyChart patient portal, After Hours Clinics, and nursing services through the night. Most ARC offices also offer on-site radiology and lab services and some offices offer specialty programs such as a Healthiness program. For more information, visit https://www.austinregionalclinic.com.