AUSTIN, TX — Austin Public Health officials on Friday launched a so-called Vaccine Distribution Coalition in preparing for availability of a vaccine for the coronavirus one it’s readily available.
The coalition comprises local health care and community partners with an aim to assist the health district in developing strategies for vaccination coverage, Austin Public Health officials wrote in an advisory. Coalitions within local jurisdictions were identified by the federal government as a best practice and are key to successful rapid vaccine distribution planning, officials added.
“Slowing the spread of COVID-19 in Austin-Travis County has been a community effort since the beginning,” Austin Public Health Director Stephanie Hayden said in a prepared statement. “Planning for the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine will once again require many stakeholders and a community effort to be successful. We still have a long road ahead of us, but the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Coalition marks the beginning of a new chapter in our response.”
Local officials have been guided by a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publication titled the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Interim Playbook for Jurisdiction Operations, which includes information on vaccination program planning and implementation tactics, Austin Public Health officials said. COVID-19 vaccine supply is expected to be limited at the beginning of distribution, local officials noted, so the allocation of doses may need to be prioritized for critical populations such as critical infrastructure workers, people at increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness, people at increased risk of acquiring or transmitting COVID-19, and people with limited access to routine vaccination services.
“As a community, we need to recognize that even when a vaccine becomes available, initially it will not be widely available for the general public,” Dr. Mark Escott, the interim Austin-Travis County health authority, said in a prepared statement. “We will need to prioritize our most vulnerable and ensure equitable distribution across our community.”
Austin Public Health officials said initial coalition meetings will focus on identifying these critical populations as well as strategizing for distribution channels, vaccine temperature storage and management along with community messaging and engagement efforts.
For COVID-19 information and updates, visit the COVID-19 Information page in the City of Austin website.
This article originally appeared on the Austin Patch
Make, give, eat: Why dumplings are the medicine we need during a pandemic – Food and Dining – Austin American-Statesman
Every culture has a dumpling, and I want them all.
Pot stickers and pierogi, pasties and samosas, empanadas and ravioli. These are just a few of the hand pies and filled dumplings that people around the world reach for at family get-togethers, annual celebrations and weekday lunches.
The dumplings I knew as a kid weren’t really dumplings. Those thick, hand-cut noodles dropped into chicken stew dumplings are still a nostalgic comfort food, but those aren’t the dumplings that currently fill my freezer.
I’ve always tried to keep a little stash of Asian, Italian, Argentinean and Eastern European dumplings for quick dinners, but this year, that stash has grown into a stockpile. It must have something to do with the anxieties and uncertainties of the pandemic — plus all this time at home to cook — that have led to a larger-than-usual supply of dumplings that I can cook for a quick lunch or dinner.
In the past few weeks, I’ve been focused on making hundreds of Asian dumplings to give away to neighbors and friends, some of whom have welcomed babies during this year of the coronavirus. Reactions are almost identical each time I hand someone a bag, usually filled with some kind of frozen pork-and-scallion stuffed pot stickers: raised eyebrows, open mouth and some exclamation along the lines of “Oh, I love dumplings!”
During the past six months, I’ve written about making empanadas, pierogi and ravioli, but it wasn’t until this month’s one-person pot sticker parties that I started to wonder why I’ve been so drawn to dumplings this year.
So I reached out to C.K. Chin, the community-building restaurateur behind Wu Chow and Swift’s Attic. His downtown Chinese restaurant is now selling frozen dumplings by the dozens, and I knew Chin would help me sort out what it is about these little pockets of joy that makes them so magical.
Unlike lasagna, brisket or a big pot of soup, which are also definitely comfort foods, dumplings aren’t necessarily meant to feed a crowd — although they certainly can. Dumplings usually start the other way, with a group of people gathered around a table, with everyone putting their labor together to make something that can be divided and shared among them.
Once you’ve made all those dumplings — no matter what kind — you can store them in a freezer to feed your future self. Dumplings embody a certain kind of optimism, Chin says.
“In Asian cultures, dumplings carry deep symbolism. They are treated with a lot of reverence and good luck because they are shaped like gold ingots. Even if you don’t believe the mythos of it, it becomes a tradition in your house,” he says.
With humble origins, dumplings don’t need much to shine. In Asian cultures, the dough is usually made with flour, water and salt, and in the right hands, those ingredients can transform into an almost transparent skin that maintains a slightly chewy texture when boiled or fried. “It takes out-of-the-box thinking to make
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