Coronavirus

How To Get A COVID-19 Vaccine In The Houston Area — If You Qualify, And If It’s Available

Vaccines are limited, and are only going to those populations who qualify so far. But here’s how to find a vaccination clinic.

A Houston Public Works employee gets vaccinated on Monday, Jan. 4, 2020.

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Updated 3:16 p.m. CT Jan. 25

Texas has moved into vaccination Phase 1B, allowing people 65 and older to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, as well as anyone 16 and older with underlying chronic health conditions. And in Harris and surrounding counties, public health departments have begun opening clinics for those who qualify.

In order to sign up, each county has a separate registration portal. But slots fill up almost immediately after opening, and because of that, there's no guarantee you can find a slot through local health departments.

To that end, the state has set up an online dashboard to find the closest private hospital, clinic, or other vaccine location. And if your primary care doctor is a vaccine distributor, it may be possible to coordinate through them.

If you do want to find a public site, here's how to register across the region.

This story will be updated as new information becomes available.

[To see all free vaccination sites across Texas, click here]

Harris County

Harris County is launching a new vaccine waitlist Tuesday that will allow eligible residents to sign up and be contacted when vaccine appointments become available. The new system, which will be accessible online or via phone for county residents, will not distribute vaccines on a first-come, first-served basis, in order to provide more equity in distribution, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said at a Monday press conference.

Harris County residents will be able to start putting their name on the list by Tuesday afternoon, and can either sign up online, or call (832)927-8787. The waitlist will be available in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.

Houston

The city launched a registration portal, providing vaccine information and a schedule for those who fit the Phase 1A and 1B criteria. For those who do, all you need is a ZIP code in the Houston area. For now, the only available location is the Bayou City Event Center, 9401 Knight Road in Southwest Houston. Qualified Houstonians can also call 832-393-4220. In its opening weekend, the clinic served close to 2,000 people. And appointments are filled through January.

The Houston Health Department said vaccine shipments were intended for Houston residents only, but under an agreement to receive those shipments, the department can not turn away other people within the Houston area.

Fort Bend County

Fort Bend County has a preregistration system, and local hospitals and clinics are still vaccinating people. Head to the state’s online dashboard to find the closest vaccine location.

Montgomery County

In Montgomery County, vaccines are being distributed through the Texas Department of State Health Services directly to hospitals, pharmacies, physicians' offices and clinics, according to the county’s public health department. The county began to vaccinate some of the general public fitting Phase 1 criteria through an appointment portal found here. The health department said it will not accept appointments by phone.

Head to the state’s online dashboard to find the closest vaccine location.

Galveston County

Starting Thursday, Jan. 7, the county began accepting appointments for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. The COVID-19 phone bank opens at 9 a.m. Wednesday. Galveston County’s vaccine waitlist is available online or by calling (409)227-8934. Right now the public site is only vaccinating people 65 and up, but as more shipments arrive in coming weeks, the health district will expand eligibility as allowable. Others can head to the state’s online dashboard to find the closest vaccine location.

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Paul DeBenedetto

Senior Producer

Paul DeBenedetto is Houston Public Media's senior web producer, writing and editing stories for HoustonPublicMedia.org. Before joining the station, Paul worked as a web producer for the Houston Chronicle, and his work has appeared online and in print for the Chronicle, the New York Times, DNAinfo New York, and other...

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