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 of the electric grid in Texas is managed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which is not linked to other interconnected national electrical systems. (Courtesy Electric Reliability Council of Texas)
Leaving the Texas power grid 'not likely to be an option' for Harris County, official says

Just two weeks after severe winter weather dropped Harris County temperatures below freezing for three consecutive days, which led to widespread power outages, loss of water and the deaths of at least 50 county residents, Harris County Commissioners Court called for major reform at the state level regarding the Texas power grid and related energy policies.

Mayor sylvester turner
Houston expanding vaccine supply as 6,000 Johnson & Johnson doses arrive March 2

The first shipment will be sent to the mass-vaccination site run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency at NRG Stadium. The site vaccinates individuals who sign up for doses though the Houston Health Department’s vaccine waitlist.

Hamilton Middle School
Some Houston ISD campuses remain closed for winter storm repairs

Almost 20 Houston ISD schools could not reopen March 1 due to ongoing repairs.

Hank's Crab Shack gets and sells several hundred pounds of crawfish daily, especially during the peak of crawfish season. (Morgan Theophil/Community Impact Newspaper)
Hank's Crab Shack serving Katy; 16 Spring-Klein business updates and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

The 32 annual Walk to End HIV will have a virtual format this year encouraging donations. (Courtesy Morris Malakoff/AIDS Foundation Houston)
Registration opens for virtual Walk to End HIV in Houston

Participants can choose any kind of activity, from walking and running to dancing and singing, to raise money toward fighting HIV in Houston.

key in door lock
Evictions continue in Houston as new measures aim to stem tide

Over 32,000 eviction cases were filed in Harris County courts in 2020.

Houston City Hall in rainbow lighting
Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce celebrates five years of service

The organization is open to all and serves members throughout the Greater Houston area.

Landmark's River Oaks Theatre is at risk of closing if it cannot come to an agreement over unpaid rent with Weingarten Realty, the owner of the retail center. (Community Impact Newspaper file photo)
Iconic River Oaks Theatre at risk of closing

The theater has not paid rent since the COVID-19 outbreak hit Houston.

The new Fort Bend Epicenter multipurpose facility could be used as a spot for trade shows and sporting events, could act as a large-scale shelter for county residents in an emergency and more. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Large multipurpose complex coming to Fort Bend County; Sugar Land to widen University Blvd. and more top Houston-area news

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

Snow covers I-45 in Houston during a winter storm that hit Texas the night of Feb. 14. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Legislators probe energy officials over power failures, lack of preparation heading into winter storm

The Texas Legislature held hearings Feb. 25 with energy companies including Oncor Electric Delivery and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas in response to last week’s historic winter storm, which left millions of Texans without electricity for days.