FEMA to administer 126,000 COVID-19 vaccinations at NRG Stadium

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo
FEMA to administer 126,000 COVID-19 vaccinations at NRG Stadium over the next six weeks. (Courtesy HTV)

FEMA to administer 126,000 COVID-19 vaccinations at NRG Stadium over the next six weeks. (Courtesy HTV)

Harris County residents will begin receiving COVID-19 vaccinations at one of four federally led mass vaccine sites in the country Feb. 23.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency established an 11-lane drive-thru vaccine hub at NRG Stadium that will begin vaccinating a small number of residents Feb. 23 before scaling up to inoculating 6,000 residents per day beginning Feb. 24.

"I can’t say enough how important this site will be to the entire community. ...Texas is still a hot spot, and Texas has not moved from being a hot spot,” said U.S. Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee, D-Houston, at the opening preview of the site Feb. 22.

By the end of the six weeks, officials plan to fully inoculate 126,000 residents. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said the county is working to ensure the FEMA site will continue running after the initial six weeks, she said.

All doses at NRG Stadium will be administered in addition to the thousands of weekly doses offered by the Houston Health Department, Harris County Health Department and other providers to high-risk populations.


The site will operate seven days a week for three weeks administering first doses and then after three weeks switch to administering second doses. Los Angeles, New York City and Dallas are the only three other FEMA-led mass vaccination sites currently in operation across the U.S. Although the site will serve as a drive-thru, those without transportation may receive transportation through the county, although details are still influx, Hidalgo said.

Only those who meet state eligibility requirements will be able to receive vaccinations at the site. Those include residents over the age of 65 and those with chronic health conditions.

Officials from the Houston Health Department and the Harris County Department of Public Health will draw from their respective waitlists to schedule vaccine appointments at the FEMA site.

Harris County’s waitlist is open to anyone; however, the county is prioritizing scheduling appointments for those who live in one of ten “high-risk” ZIP codes determined by the county to have high case counts, death rates and socioeconomic vulnerabilities. Hidalgo said the waitlist currently has over 320,000 members.

“By focusing on these high-risk ZIP codes, we will be able to achieve equity,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said.

The Houston Health Department’s waitlist is only open to those over the age of 65 or over the age of 55 with chronic health conditions. The Houston Health Department will first prioritize residents in vulnerable ZIP codes over the age of 65 and between the ages of 55 and 64 with chronic health conditions, Mayor Sylvester Turner said. It will then prioritize those over the age of 65 and those between the ages of 55 and 64 with chronic health conditions who do not live in high-risk ZIP codes.

To sign up for the Harris County vaccine waitlist, call 832-927-8787, or visit www.publichealth.harriscountytx.gov. To sign up for the city of Houston waitlist, call 832-393-4301, or visit https://houstonemergency.org/covid-19-vaccines/.
By Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered public health, education and features for several Austin-area publications. A Boston native, she is a former student athlete and alumna of The University of Texas at Austin.


MOST RECENT

Artists with Ink Dwell Studio created the mural, which depicts birds that migrate seasonally to the Houston area. (Courtesy Anthony Rathbun/Houston Parks Board)
Photos: New mural 'Confluence' celebrates Houston's bayous, birds

"It is so important to use art to lift everyone’s spirits and look at the world in a different way,” Houston Parks Board's Beth White said.

Costco Business Centers, of which there are only about 15 in the country, carry different products and provide a different shopping experience to members than do traditional Costco Wholesale stores. (Courtesy Costco Wholesale)
Costco Business Center being built in Stafford; see live music in The Woodlands and more top Houston-area news

Read the top business and community news from the Houston area from the past week.

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations. (Courtesy Amazon)
Amazon begins rollout of statewide vaccination clinics for employees

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations.

Clutch City Coffee opened in March at 4733 Richmond Ave., Houston. (Courtesy Clutch City Coffee)
Locally owned Clutch City Coffee opens near Galleria area

It exclusively serves Houston-roasted coffee and locally made breakfast tacos and pastries.

Houston’s Galleria will add several new high-end luxury brands. (Courtesy Simon)
The Galleria announces new restaurant, luxury brand additions

Moncler, the French-Italian apparel manufacturer and lifestyle brand, will be bringing its well-known jackets and sportswear for the first time in Houston.

Houston City Council approved ordinances expanding and funding Houston’s BCycle program on April 14. (Courtesy Houston BCycle)
Houston City Council OKs expansion of BCycle sites

City Council approved the addition of 11 new BCycle kiosk bike stations.

Federal funding is set aside for public schools to address effects of the pandemic. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Why Texas has not yet distributed $18 billion in federal funds intended for public schools

As budget decisions loom for school districts across Texas, state leaders are holding on to federal funds intended for public schools to use in addressing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Homes priced above $750,000, such as this one in the Heights, saw a surge in sales in March, with almost twice as many properties sold. (Courtesy Houston Association of Realtors)
Average Houston single-family home price jumps 20% in March

The average sale price for a home in March was $370,847.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas said power outages are not expected April 13, while requesting energy conservation. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
UPDATE: ERCOT call for energy conservation ends April 13 without need for power outages

An ERCOT official said "tight" supply and demand conditions arose on the state's electric grid April 13 due to forecasting issues amid planned, seasonal maintenance outages by some power generators.

Spearheaded by state Rep. Gene Wu, D-Houston, the new court, if established, would expand the capacity of the county's criminal court system in hopes of reducing its backlog, which stood at 70,951 total cases pending before criminal district courts in Harris County as of April 8. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Harris County supports creation of new criminal district court to tackle case backlog

If the efforts are successful, this would be Harris County's first new criminal district court since 1984 when the 351st District Court was created.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended health providers pause distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine April 13. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
State, federal health authorities recommend pause of Johnson & Johnson vaccine after 6 rare, severe blood clots

Hub providers in Dallas, Harris and Travis counties have all announced they will follow the recommendations and pause distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.