Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to schedule an appointment for my second dose? 

If you received a COVID-19 vaccine from the Houston Health Department, we will contact you to provide information about where to schedule your second dose within the appropriate timeframe.

Moderna’s second dose is recommended 28 days after the first dose with a four-day grace period to receive it early. Currently there is no maximum amount of time between first and second dose that would trigger a need to restart the series.

Although people vaccinated by the health department will be contacted, we understand the anxiety and offer people the option to contact our call center and check our website a few days ahead of their second dose timeframe regarding new appointment opportunities.

The federal government guarantees second doses will be shipped to providers for everyone who received the initial dose.

Do I have to live in Houston to get vaccinated by the Houston Health Department? 

The Houston Health Department does not deny COVID-19 services based on residency.  

Do I need medical records to proof an underlying health condition? 

When you arrive on site, you will undergo a health screening where you self-declare health conditions. Medical records are not required.  

Should I arrive early to my appointment?

Please arrive no more than 15 minutes before your appointment. This helps ensure site efficiency and wait times.

What should I expect when I arrive? 

When you arrive to your location, follow the on-site prompts. You will go through registration then given further instructions. All sites have safety precautions in place and please follow instructions for the safety of everyone. 

How much does the vaccine cost? 

There is no cost to receive the COVID-19 vaccine from the Houston Health Department.

Do I have to have insurance?

Getting vaccinated at Houston Health Department clinics is FREE, and does not require proof of residency, citizenship or insurance.

Do I need to have immigration paperwork?

Getting vaccinated at Houston Health Department clinics is FREE, and does not require proof of residency, citizenship or insurance.

What underlying conditions are included in Phase 1B eligibility? 

Chronic conditions covered under Phase 1B include conditions that puts people in an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, including but not limited to cancer, chronic kidney diseaseCOPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies, solid organ transplantation, obesity and severe obesity (body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or higher), pregnancy, sickle cell diseasetype 2 diabetes mellitus. 

You will undergo a health screening by HHD staff where you self-declare health conditions. Medical records are not required.  

How will I know what vaccine I receive at the clinic? 

The Houston Health Department currently offers the Moderna vaccine. Each vaccine recipient will receive a card with information about the vaccine they received, and doses administered will be recorded in ImmTrac2, the state immunization registry, so that providers and recipients can ensure they receive the correct second dose. 

Can my teenager with an underlying condition receive a vaccine from HHD? 

The Houston Health Department currently offers the Moderna vaccine which is only approved for use in people 18 and older. 

If I do not have an appointment, is it OK for me to show up at the vaccination site and ask about “extra vaccines” or get a “walk-in” appointment? 

If you do NOT have an appointment, please do not show up at a vaccination site. 

Are indoor vaccination sites safe?

The safety and health of our clients, vaccination team members, and volunteers is a core value of the Houston Health Department. Best practice safety protocols are implemented at each vaccine distribution location while enabling as many clients as possible while staying safe.

Safety protocols include an open-air environment when possible (the indoor Minute Maid Park areas have open-air aeration), capacity limits, optimal air changes and filtration, as little physical contact as possible, social distancing, hand hygiene, disinfection, and face cover requirements. Our vaccination processes also include all necessary infection prevention protocols. Initial registration occurs with clients in their personal vehicles and post-vaccination observation takes place in open-air stadium seating with optimal social distancing and disinfection.

Can a COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?
No. None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.
There are several different types of vaccines in development. All of them teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work.

After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, will I test positive for COVID-19 on a viral test?
No. Neither the recently authorized and recommended vaccines nor the other COVID-19 vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States can cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.
If your body develops an immune response—the goal of vaccination—there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.

Important Links

Don't Stop. Don't Forget.

Even after you are vaccinated, continue to practice the behaviors that protect each other.

We need to do these simple things as outlined in the “Better. Together.” campaign:  

  • Mask up by wearing a face covering over your mouth and nose 
  • Social distance at least six feet from other peopleand avoiding gatherings 
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20-seconds  
  • Get tested and isolate if you’re positive.

For the safety of those around you, if you have symptoms and are awaiting test results, you should act as if you have the virus by isolating at home.   

African American medical professional giving a younger African American younger person a vaccination, both wearing masks. Text reads :Take Your Best SHot: Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19."