Frequently Asked Questions

When should I get my second dose of Moderna vaccine?

The department currently provides the Moderna vaccine, with the second dose recommended 28 days after the first dose. Updated guidance from CDC says it should be administered as close as possible to the recommended interval but can be scheduled up to 42 days after the first dose.

”If it is not feasible to adhere to the recommended interval, the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines may be scheduled for administration up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose. If the second dose is administered beyond these intervals, there is no need to restart the series,” the guidance says.

Do I need to call or go online to schedule an appointment for my second dose? 

No. The Houston Health Department continues reaching out by text message and email with information to schedule second doses of COVID-19 vaccine. The messages contain a survey link for people to self-register for a second dose appointment.

If a person does not receive a message and confirm their appointment 48 hours before Moderna’s recommended 28-day due date, please contact the COVID-19 call center at 832-393-4220.

If contact information has changed since a person received their first dose from the health department, please alert the call center.

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

No. The Houston Health Department does not deny COVID-19 services based on residency.  

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

No. When you arrive on site, you will undergo a health screening where you self-declare health conditions. Medical records are not required.  

Do I need to receive an email or text message before my appointment is confirmed.

Yes. Appointments are only confirmed upon receipt of an email or text message and confirmation numbers will be verified on site.

How do I know if a text or email is really from HHD and not a scam?

The Houston Health Department will never ask for social security, banking, or immigration information when scheduling COVID-19 vaccinations. Please do not provide this information if someone calls, emails, or texts claiming to be from the Houston Health Department. Legitimate text messages and emails from the Houston Health Department contain a link to schedule. Please do not reply directly to a text message or email with personal information.

How early should I arrive 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. 

Is there a lot of walking involved at HHD vaccine clinics? What should I do if I have mobility issues?

Our sites provide accommodations for those with mobility or other issues. Please make a staff member aware of your needs during check in. Delmar Stadium is a drive-through site.

What should I do if I was able to get an appointment on the website, but never received a confirmation email or text?

If you did not receive a confirmation email or text message but were able to see the confirmation screen after making your appointment, please proceed at your scheduled time and date.

How can I find out about future Houston Health Department vaccine clinics?

Sign up to receive updates on future HHD vaccine opportunities through email, text message, voice call, or mobile app push notification by registering for the HoustonRecovers subscription of AlertHouston.

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?

No. 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?

No. 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?

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, 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 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

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."