COVID-19 Vaccination in Central Texas.

Until the vaccines are widely available, please continue to physically distance and wear a mask.

What We Know Right Now

You have questions. We have some of the answers, but not all of them.

Vaccine availability changes by the hour. Below, you can find information about what we know. We will update this page frequently as new information becomes available.

Published: February 25, 2021
Last updated: April 2, 2021

 

Beginning in January, Texas established large regional vaccination sites, also called hubs, around the state. hub providers focus on large community vaccination efforts. They’re listed under “Vaccine Hubs.”

There are also hundreds of other local providers in Central Texas who have enrolled with the state to become a COVID-19 vaccine provider. These are your pharmacies, doctor’s offices, hospital groups, and other providers. These are locations we listed under “Other Vaccine Providers.”

You’ll also see “Texas Public Health Vaccine Scheduler” listed under both “Vaccine Hubs” and “Other Vaccine Providers.” The scheduler is a new tool the Texas Department of State Health Services launched to help people find appointments at participating public health entities. If you do not have Internet access, but want to use the scheduler, call (833) 832-7067.

Everyone 16 or older is now eligible to receive a vaccine in Texas.

At this time, only the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for people 16 and older. Other vaccines authorized by the Food and Drug Administration are approved for people 18 and older.

Yes. There is no centralized registration system. Whether it’s with a vaccine hub or a local provider, you must sign up with each provider to be notified when they have appointments available. It’s okay to sign up on more than one registration system.

Please remember:

  • Please do NOT show up at a hospital or clinic seeking a vaccine if you do not have an appointment.
  • Please check their website for information about vaccine availability and/or a waitlist.
  • Call if the website doesn’t answer your questions.

Right now, we simply do not have enough vaccines to give to everyone who wants and needs it. This is a statewide, national, and international issue.

At the federal level, the President of the United States has committed to dramatically increasing production. We expect the vaccine supply to increase over time.

Yes, at hub sites, the vaccine is free. For other providers, ask for more information. Some other providers may charge fees associated with administering the vaccine itself.

This is where it gets complicated, unfortunately.

The federal government gives certain amounts of vaccine to each state. Each state then allocates vaccines to enrolled vaccine providers based on an unknown formula. Each provider is trying to get as many vaccines as possible.

Texas does not have a central registration site which makes it impossible to answer this question. Each vaccine hub and provider has their own line and their own method for registering people. The providers then contact eligible vaccine recipients, often by email,  in waves of a few hundred or a few thousand at a time to schedule appointments.

The best thing you can do to increase your odds of getting vaccinated quickly is to sign up with multiple providers. Take the vaccine from whichever provider offers it to you first. To ensure you receive your second dose, try to stay with the same provider who gave you your first dose. Each provider gets from the state, the same number of second doses that it administered in first doses.

 

We 100% agree with you. The current distribution plan is complicated, and it is not as efficient as it needs to be. We know this process can be overwhelming.

It is our hope that the President and the CDC will update  the distribution plan to increase efficiency and accessibility when more vaccines become available.

We have been active in voicing our concerns at both the state and federal levels and feel we are being heard. We are optimistic that the process will improve.

You have every right to be worried. We are worried about equity, too. We’re paying very close attention to ensure that providers are following the CDC’s plan, guidelines, and requirements.

The President issued an Executive Order on Ensuring an Equitable Pandemic Response and Recovery on January 21, 2021, which can be viewed here. We are glad to see that equity is a priority from the very top on down.

Federally, it is important that the CDC’s plan, guidelines, and requirements insure equity. Locally, our focus is on following the CDC’s plan, guidelines, and requirements.

Not in Central Texas.

We have  the opposite problem. We need more vaccines. Our providers anxiously await each new shipment.

The Texas Department of State Health Services determines the weekly allocation of the COVID-19 vaccines among registered providers. There are hundreds of providers signed up in Central Texas and we are notified each week, as soon as the state makes the information available.

While we wait for an increased supply of vaccines, we are moving aggressively to put in place people and systems to distribute each shipment more efficiently than the last.

In general, providers are taking people who pre-registered to be on their waitlists on a first come, first serve basis. Check your email or phone often and reply as promptly as you can.

Some vaccine providers may continue to prioritize people who are at greater risk of severe illness. Those may include frontline healthcare workers, long-term care facilities residents, people 50 or over, people 16 or over with a chronic medical condition, or education and childcare personnel.

Once production has further ramped up and additional vaccines receive FDA approval, we anticipate that having enough people to administer the  vaccines will be our challenge.

If you have medical experience and are willing to volunteer your time to help, we have set up a site here where you can tell us about your credentials and availability.

Please sign up if you can. Volunteers may be essential to increasing our ability to administer the vaccine.

Right now, we continue to ask for our community’s patience and understanding as we work to distribute limited allocations of COVID-19 vaccine.

We also still need your help. It is critical to follow the 3 W’s - to wear face coverings, wash your hands frequently, and watch your distance by maintaining six feet of distance from others. Please stay home as much as possible to limit the spread of the virus.