EXPLAINED: When, where and how Texans can receive the COVID-19 vaccine

In addition to vaccine hubs, there are also smaller community vaccine providers throughout Texas, such as pharmacies, that may also have the vaccine available. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper)
In addition to vaccine hubs, there are also smaller community vaccine providers throughout Texas, such as pharmacies, that may also have the vaccine available. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper)

In addition to vaccine hubs, there are also smaller community vaccine providers throughout Texas, such as pharmacies, that may also have the vaccine available. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper)

As Texas is still in the early stages of rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine, many Texans are still unsure about where, when and how they can get inoculated.

To answer these questions, Douglas Loveday, press officer for the Texas Department of State Health Services, spoke with Community Impact Newspaper about the vaccination process. While Loveday said vaccine supply is limited in Texas as of Jan. 19, the state is still receiving more vaccine doses on a weekly basis, meaning those who want to get inoculated should continue to stay in contact with their local vaccine provider.

"Also, other vaccines may soon be approved for use in the next several weeks, promising even more vaccine doses available for Texas weekly," Loveday said. "But until all who want a vaccination receives one, continue to wear a mask, avoid crowds and keep a safe distance from others, and get vaccinated when able."

The following information comes from Community Impact Newspaper's interview with Loveday and the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Who can get vaccinated when?


In an effort to provide the most protection to vulnerable populations and critical state resources, the Texas Department of State Health Services has developed vaccine allocation guidelines, which outline who will get vaccinated when. Currently, Texans in Phase 1A and 1B are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Once these individuals are inoculated, the vaccine will become more readily available to the general public, which will likely occur in spring 2021, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Phase 1A and 1B individuals are as follows:

Phase 1A

  • Frontline health care workers

  • Residents at long-term care facilities


Phase 1B


  • People over age 65

  • People with chronic medical conditions that put them at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19, such as but not limited to:

    • cancer

    • chronic kidney disease

    • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

    • heart conditions (such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies)

    • solid organ transplantation

    • obesity and severe obesity

    • pregnancy

    • sickle cell disease

    • Type 2 diabetes mellitus




Where can I get vaccinated?

Vaccination hubs were set up throughout Texas in January to assist with rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine. According to Loveday, the hubs aim to simplify the vaccination process and are designed to serve all people who are eligible to receive a vaccine, regardless of what county they live in.

As of press time, there are no vaccination hubs located in Brazoria, Comal, Guadalupe or Waller counties, which Community Impact Newspaper also covers. For a complete list of vaccination hubs and COVID-19 vaccine providers, click here.

AUSTIN

Hays County


  • Hays County Health Department: click here


Travis County


  • Austin Public Health: call 512-972-5560 or click here

  • UT Health Dell Medical School: call 833-882-2737 or click here


Williamson County


  • Family Emergency Rooms Cedar Park: call 833-984-3747 or click here


DALLAS-FORT WORTH

Collin County


  • Allen Fire Department: call 214-509-4333 or click here

  • Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Plano: call 844-279-8222 or click here

  • McKinney Fire Department: call 972-547-9000 or click here

  • Collin County Healthcare Services: call 214-491-4838 or click here


Dallas County


  • Baylor University Medical Center: call 844-279-8222 or click here

  • Garland Health Department: call 972-205-3900 or click here

  • Dallas County Health and Human Services: call 972-692-2780 or click here

  • Parkland Hospital: click here

  • UT Southwestern Medical Center: call 214-633-2021 or click here


Denton County


  • Denton County Public Health: call 940-349-2585 or click here


Tarrant County


  • Arlington Fire Department: call 817-248-6299 and select Option 7 or click here

  • Tarrant County Public Health District: call 817-248-6299 and select Option 7 or click here

  • Texas Health Resources: call 817-248-6299 and select Option 7 or click here


HOUSTON

Fort Bend County


  • Fort Bend County Health Department: call 832-471-1373 or click here


Galveston County


  • Galveston County Health District: call 409-227-8934 or click here

  • University of Texas Medical Branch Hospital: call 800-917-8906 or click here


Harris County


  • CHI St. Luke’s Health: call 832-844-6352 or click here

  • Harris County Public Health: click here

  • Houston Health Department: click here

  • Houston Methodist Hospital: call 281-626-5551 or click here

  • Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center: call 833-772-2864 or click here

  • UT-Health Houston: click here


Montgomery County


  • Lone Star Family Health Center: call 936-523-5230 or click here


In addition to vaccine hubs, there are also smaller community vaccine providers throughout Texas, such as pharmacies, that may also have the vaccine available. To view an interactive map of these vaccine providers, click here.

How can I get vaccinated?

To receive a vaccine, Loveday said Texans have a few options. While each vaccination hub and community vaccine provider operates differently, Loveday said individuals wanting to be vaccinated should first check the provider's instructions for scheduling a vaccination, either online or by phone. Depending on the provider, patients may be placed on a waiting list or contacted by the provider via phone, email or text when vaccines become available.

Loveday urged Texans to not show up at a vaccination provider without an appointment, as waiting lists are already filling up and vaccine supply is limited.

"Remember, vaccine is still in limited supply, so there may be long waiting lists," Loveday said. "Please, don't just show up there. Check out the provider's website to learn how to sign up for a vaccine. Call if the provider's site doesn't answer your question."

In addition to vaccination hubs and community vaccine providers, Loveday said Texans should also stay in touch with their personal health care providers for updates on when they will be vaccinating patients. Older adults can also reach out to their Area Agency on Aging for assistance. To find a local Area Agency on Aging, click here.

Additionally, Loveday said the Texas Department of State Health Services has also established a COVID-19 Nurse Call Center, which Texans can contact by calling 877-570-9779 Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., calling Texas 2-1-1 and selecting Option 6, or emailing [email protected].

For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, click here.
By Hannah Zedaker

Editor, Spring/Klein & Lake Houston/Humble/Kingwood

Hannah joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. In March 2019, she transitioned to editor of the Spring/Klein edition and later became the editor of both the Spring/Klein and Lake Houston/Humble/Kingwood editions in June 2021. Hannah covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in these communities. Prior to CI, Hannah served as associate editor of The Houstonian, interned with Community Impact Newspaper and spent time writing for the Sam Houston State University College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication and The Huntsville Item.