Welcome to the UTHealth and UT Physicians COVID-19 vaccine information page. As part of being named a COVID-19 Vaccine Hub in Harris County by the Texas State Department of Health Services, UTHealth is distributing the vaccine to the most vulnerable community members who qualify for Phase 1A/B according to federal and state guidelines.
Distribution of COVID-19 vaccine
UTHealth is working diligently to schedule members of our community as quickly as possible, but please be aware we are limited by the number of vaccines received. Here is a quick look at the distribution plan in place:
- Phase 1A focuses on frontline health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities.
- Phase 1B focuses on people 65 and older and those with a medical condition that puts them at greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
UT Physicians patients
For Phase 1A and Phase 1B patients who have seen a UT Physicians doctor in the last 18 months, you do not need to sign up on our registry. We are currently notifying patients via text message and email to schedule their vaccine. Invitations are based upon vaccine shipment numbers. For patients without text messaging capability or an email address on file, we will personally call you. UT Physicians clinics are experiencing a high number of calls regarding the vaccine. We ask that patients please wait for their invitation to schedule an appointment.
UTHealth Hub Vaccine registry
For the general public, UTHealth has opened a registry for eligible Phase 1A and Phase 1B community members to register for the COVID-19 vaccine. Please note this is a registry, not a confirmed appointment. Once the registry spots are full each week, the registry will close. Please check back often as we update availability. Wait times for appointments could be weeks or months based off of vaccine availability. If you have an opportunity to receive the vaccine at your doctor’s office or another Hub Vaccine location, please do so.
In the section below, please read the answers to frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. The answers have been provided by our physicians who are on the faculty at McGovern Medical School.
COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions
- The FDA approval process, even in an EUA situation, prioritizes health and safety.
- Both the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine should not be administered to individuals with known history of a severe allergic reaction to previous vaccines, to any component of the vaccine, or to the first dose of this vaccine, without additional clinical evaluation.
- Immunocompromised people, including individuals receiving immunosuppressant therapy, may have a diminished immune response.
- Adverse reactions reported in vaccine trials were mild and included: injection site pain, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, fever, injection site swelling, injection site redness, nausea, malaise (generally not feeling well), and lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes).
- There is a remote chance that the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine could cause a severe allergic reaction. A severe allergic reaction would usually occur within a few minutes to one hour after getting a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. For this reason, your vaccination provider may ask you to stay at the place where you received your vaccine for monitoring after vaccination.
- Yes, eventually. Though several steps have been taken to streamline the process and reduce regulatory obstacles, the underlying full approval process remains the same. Currently, the FDA has granted “Emergency Use Authorization” (EUA) for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. EUA occurs if there’s evidence that strongly suggests patients have benefitted from a treatment or test and the treatment is safe, but not all regulatory steps have been completed. Other vaccines that are in the pipeline likely will also be granted EUA before receiving full approval.
- The FDA, state health departments, drug producers, and independent physicians and researchers will monitor and track a wide variety of data once the vaccine is available to continue to learn about the drugs’ safety and effectiveness.
- The clinical trials showed that a two-dose model was most effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
- For the Moderna vaccine, a second dose is required 28 days after the first dose. The Pfizer vaccine requires a second dose 21 days after the first. This will be scheduled at your first vaccine appointment.