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UT Austin Receives Some of Texas’ First COVID-19 Vaccines to Protect Healthcare Staff Serving the Region

Dec. 14, 2020

(AUSTIN, Texas) – UT Health Austin, the clinical practice of Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin, is among the first in Texas to receive the long-awaited first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines. The vials arrived by ground and were immediately placed in sub-zero temperature storage.

The 2,925 Pfizer vaccine vials received are the first of two doses earmarked to protect UT Austin’s front-line health care workers, including faculty, staff and students who are actively involved in clinical care delivery to patients in the Austin community. Vaccine distribution will begin Tuesday and will continue for nine days. The second doses are expected in early January 2021.

“This has been a long haul for everyone, but especially for the health care providers who have been putting their own lives at risk in taking care of COVID-19 patients on the front lines,” said Amy Young, M.D., Chief Clinical Officer of UT Health Austin and Vice Dean of Professional Practice at Dell Medical School.

“Having the vaccine finally gives us hope for a future without COVID, and that really is an extraordinary step forward,” she said.

UT’s protocols for equitable vaccine distribution align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance, which prioritizes health care personnel as well as for other high-risk groups.

Receipt of the vaccine is an especially meaningful milestone for UT Austin. Earlier this January, molecular biologist Jason McLellan, Ph.D., made one of the key discoveries that was essential to the development of Pfizer, Moderna and other vaccines to fight the global pandemic. See this video explainer on McLellan’s work.