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COVID-19 Rates In Austin Fall Below 5% Across All Races For The First Time, Health Officials Say

University of Texas at Austin football athletic trainer Johnathan Tran receives the COVID-19 vaccine
Gabriel C. Pérez
University of Texas at Austin football athletic trainer Johnathan Tran receives the COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 20.

The COVID-19 positivity rate in Austin and Travis County continues to fall as more people in the area are inoculated against the virus.

Dr. Jason Pickett, deputy medical director for the city, said Tuesday positivity rates for people of all races in the area are down below 5% for the first time in the pandemic, with an overall community positivity rate of 2.5%. The positivity rate is the percentage of tests administered that come back positive.

About 56% of the area's population is partially or fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including more than 60% of people age 12 years and older.

Adrienne Stirrup, interim director of Austin Public Health, said more than 13,000 children between the ages of 12 and 15 have received at least one vaccine dose since the FDA approved the administration of the Pfizer vaccine among that age group.

"For our 65 and up population we're at 85% with at least one dose and 73% fully vaccinated," she told a joint session of Austin City Council and Travis County Commissioners.

The vaccine clinic at the Delco Activity Center will shut down operations this week. Moderna vaccines will still be available various days at the Southeast and Little Walnut Creek libraries, as well as the Ana Lark Center.

The Moderna vaccine is currently only available to people 18 years and older. However, that might change soon. The pharmaceutical company said Tuesday that its vaccine is highly effective among teenagers ages 12 to 17 and will submit its data to the FDA next month.

Got a tip? Email Jerry Quijano at Follow him on Twitter@jerryquijano.

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Jerry Quijano is the local All Things Considered anchor for KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @jerryquijano.
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