Lake Travis - Westlake Edition | June 2021

HEALTH CARE NEWS Pzer’sCOVID19vaccinegains approval for childrenasyoungas 12

Recent health care news from Texas, Travis County and Lakeway

Lone Star Circle of Care offers mobile mammograms

AUTHORIZATION BY AGE The Pzer-BioNtech vaccine was authorized for children as young as age 12 on May 10. It is the rst vaccine to reach authorization for that age group. P F I Z E R JOHNSON & JOHNSON 12+ 18+ 18+ M O D E R N A

BY OLIVIA ALDRIDGE

“known and potential benets” of the vaccine outweigh any risks for that age group, based on large-scale clinical trials involving 2,260 partic- ipants. Among those participants, the most common side eects were pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, fever and joint pain—the same side eects experienced by adults. On May 7, ahead of the FDA’s announcement, the Texas Depart- ment of State Health Services sent a letter to more than 3,000 pedi- atric care providers in the state, urging them to enroll in Texas’ COVID-19 vaccine program. Pzer also announced it had submitted an application for formal approval to the FDA on May 7.

BY ALI LINAN

TEXAS Children ages 12-15 can now receive Pzer’s coronavirus vaccine after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the drug’s emergency use authorization to include adolescents May 10. The FDA initially granted the Pzer-BioNTech vaccine emergency use authorization, or EUA, on Dec. 11, allowing people age 16 and older access to the two-dose regimen. EUAs are granted to medical treatments that have the potential to diagnose, treat or prevent illness during public health emergencies when there are no existing, for- mally approved alternatives. The FDA expanded the EUA to include adolescents after determining that

CENTRAL TEXAS Through a part- nership with ARA Diagnostic Imaging, Lone Star Circle of Care is bringing back the Big Pink Bus, a mobile mammography service operating in Bastrop, Burnet, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties. The bus will address the need for affordable, accessible mammogra- phy among uninsured and under- served Central Texans, according to a news release. LSCC will oer free or low- cost breast cancer screening to patients who will receive 3D breast imaging performed by a registered Mammography Technologist. ARA will read the images and serve patients needing diagnostic follow-up. For screening services, while private insurance is welcome, LSCC will qualify eligible uninsured patients for safety net programs, and a sliding fee scale will be available according to household size and income. According the American Cancer Society’s most recent data, only 40% of uninsured Texas women ages 40-64 reported having a mammogram in the past two years. LSCC will work with its own clinics, other health care facilities and community organizations to schedule local screening events with a goal of providing 2,700 screening mammograms in the rst year of operation.

SOURCE: CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTIONCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER AS OF JUNE 5

Baylor Scott&White recognizesemployees duringhealthcareappreciationweek

BY AMY RAE DADAMO

& White received a $500 bonus, according to a news release. “At a time when parts of life stood still, our team’s collective spirit pushed us forward. Over the last year, we supported one another like family, and we pursued opportunities to lift each other up,” Chief Human Resources Ocer John Lacy said in the release.

LAKEWAY Baylor Scott &White Health, Texas’ largest nonprot health system, honored its employees during health care appreciation week. May marked national recognitions such as National Hospital Week from May 9-15, according to the American Hospital Association. To honor these workers, eligible health care employees at Baylor Scott

Nurses celebrate in Lakeway. (Courtesy Baylor Scott &White Health)

Transition underway as Travis Countymedical ocials take newgovernmental roles

BY OLIVIA ALDRIDGE

Dr. Desmar Walkes took over as the city’s medical director and health authority May 31. Since 2007, Walkes served as the local health authority for Bastrop County, where she was the point person for the county’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Walkes, according to a city news release, has more than 30 years of experience as a family practitioner, medical authority and medical director. Escott was named the emergency medical services systemmedical director for the city of Austin and Travis County in 2016. In addition to

care services,” Escott said. Hayden-Howard is now Austin’s assistant city manager for health and environment and culture and lifelong learning. In that role, she will oversee Austin Public Health and four other city departments, which, according to a media release, include a total of 2,600 full-time-equiva- lent city employees and a $394.4 million combined budget. DesmarWalkes

that role, he took over the position of interimmedical director and health authority for Austin and Travis County in 2019. In addition to the 2,000 EMS and re department personnel he oversees, Escott said in a May 7 news conference he will also be in charge of Austin’s other clinical services as chief medical ocer. “Particularly when we are looking forward at the recovery phase of this pandemic, those clinical services are going to be critical for those who have lost jobs or health insurance benets to make sure they have an aordable way to access those health

TRAVIS COUNTY Dr. Mark Escott stepped down from his position as interim health authority of Austin and Travis County to take on a new role as chief medical ocer for the city, and Austin Public Health Direc- tor Stephanie Hayden-Howard will become an assistant city manager. Escott and Hayden-Howard have been the two most visible leaders of Austin and Travis County’s ght against COVID-19, brieng the media and presenting information in public meetings since the rst cases of the virus were conrmed in March 2020.

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LAKE TRAVIS  WESTLAKE EDITION • JUNE 2021

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