Springtime is upon us, and Austin is finally starting to see light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. That doesn’t mean we can ease up, though: Now is the time to fight harder than ever, so that our community can conquer COVID-19 once and for all.
Unfortunately, recent data collected by the Texas Department of State Health Services show that Travis County’s vaccination rate is lagging behind most of the state’s other urban counties.
Austin Public Health’s online signup system is a big part of the problem. It’s confusing, poorly designed, and it takes users hours to secure appointments. As one local resident told KXAN, “it’s very frustrating for seniors, even when they see appointments are open.”
The system’s problems came to a head earlier this week, when local officials had to shut it down due to technical difficulties:
We can do better! Contact the Austin City Council today and demand that they fix these issues and fund a vaccine-navigator program to help elderly, disabled, and technologically challenged Austinites.
Many residents like these have already started looking to friends, neighbors, and volunteer groups for help securing vaccination appointments, having nowhere else to turn. With the council’s support, City Hall can boost these efforts. Local officials can hire and train personnel to work with our community’s hardest-to-reach residents and shepherd them through the vaccination process. Other cities have adopted similar programs, and they are working well.
Contact Mayor Steve Adler and your representative on the Austin City Council using the information below. Ask them to fix the vaccination-scheduling system and fund a navigator program to help our most vulnerable neighbors. Check this map if you aren’t sure which council member represents you.
Together we can build an Austin for everyone!
You may send a single email to the mayor and all council members using this form.