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 community members who qualify according to federal and state guidelines.
Distribution of COVID-19 vaccine
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, individuals ages 12 to 17 are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine, while those ages 18 and older are eligible for the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Older individuals or those considered high risk of severe illness will still be given priority for appointments.
UTHealth Hub Vaccine appointments
For the general public, including UT Physicians patients, UTHealth has real-time scheduling for all individuals ages 12 and up to secure an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine. Individuals who are under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent/guardian to receive the vaccine. Please check back often as we update availability.
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 U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval process, even in an Emergency Use Authorization situation, prioritizes health and safety.
- Both the Pfizer and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines should not be administered to individuals with a 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.
- The Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine is not recommended for individuals who have experienced an allergic reaction to any ingredient of their vaccine. Ingredients are listed on the J&J fact sheet above under patient resources.
- 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 the Moderna and J&J COVID-19 vaccines could cause a severe allergic reaction. A severe allergic reaction would usually occur within a few minutes to one hour after receiving a dose. For this reason, the UTHealth Vaccine Hub will be monitoring patients after they receive their vaccine as per our safety protocol. Recipients are monitored between 15 to 30 minutes for reactions.
- 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 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson 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 will also likely 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 for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines 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 at least 28 days after the first dose. The Pfizer vaccine requires a second dose at least 21 days after the first. Your return visit will be scheduled at your first vaccine appointment.
- The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires only one dose.