The Houston Health Department launched today online registration allowing Houstonians at the highest risk of coronavirus disease to schedule appointments to receive free COVID-19 vaccinations. A Spanish version is anticipated to launch later in the day.
People age 65 and older and people age 18 and older with at least one chronic medical condition putting them at increased risk of severe illness and death may sign up to get the vaccine at HoustonEmergency.org/COVID19.
These groups are prioritized as Phase 1B of the State of Texas’ vaccine distribution plan.
Frontlines healthcare workers who have yet to receive the vaccine also are eligible to sign up to get the shot through the health department. Healthcare workers are grouped as part of Phase 1A distribution.
Appointments are also available through the health department’s COVID-19 call center by calling 832-393-4220. The call center is open Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. with hours extended until 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
“The Houston Health Department is doing a phenomenal job getting the vaccine directly to people. The new online registration, in addition to the call center, will make the process more efficient. While there is great public demand for the COVID-19 vaccine, there is also a lot of hesitancy. I understand the concerns, but I encourage all eligible Houstonians to get vaccinated to help stop the spread of the deadly virus,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner.
As additional doses become more plentiful in the coming weeks and months, the department will ramp up local vaccination efforts and announce other free vaccination opportunities.
Medical conditions placing people at high risk include cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart conditions, solid organ transplantation, obesity and severe obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease and type 2 diabetes.
The department currently offers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, recommended for people 18 years of age and older under the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization.
People will receive an appointment time and the location of the vaccination clinic site during the registration process. Staff with the department will screen people when they first arrive at the clinic site, direct them to a secure area to receive the vaccination and monitor them for any adverse reaction for 15 minutes.
Information about COVID-19 vaccines, including safety and efficacy, is available online on the COVID-19 Vaccine page of HoustonEmergency.org/covid19.