Houston Health Department opens first drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination site

HOUSTON – Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced Monday that the Houston Health Department has opened its first drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination site.

The standing clinic, located at the Delmar Stadium, is expected to provide 1,000 vaccinations of the COVID-19 Moderna vaccine a day by appointment only.

Turner said the drive-thru clinic will operate Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., thanks to the city’s partnership with the Houston United Memorial Medical Center.

“Our work to vaccinate as many people as possible based on supply. I know there is a lot of anxiety in the community because people are worried, they cannot get an appointment scheduled. We know that demand is higher than the supply of vaccine,” Turner said.

People with disabilities and senior citizens can set an appointment by phone. Turner said to call 832-393-4301 to be put on the COVID-19 vaccine waiting list. The department is currently not taking additional appointments at this time, but when supply increases, it will open the appointment portal. To follow updates on when the portal will open, click here.

“It is very important that you share the number with people in your network because we know the elderly and those with disabilities have a tougher time accessing the appointment portal,” Turner said.

The mayor said the clinic is limited by vaccine availability but plan to meet its daily 1,000 vaccination goal. As of Monday, the Houston Health Department says it has administered a total of 31,159 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I will work on vaccinating as many people as possible,” Turner said. “We are limited by vaccine availability but are doing everything we can to use the resources that we do have in an accessible and equitable way.

The Houston Health Department reports its largest number of cases Monday. HHD reports 3,039 positive COVID-10 cases, bringing to the city’s total to 149,515 and 11 new COVID-19 related deaths, bringing the total to 1,719. Turner said the large number of cases is due to some corrections the system has made over the past three days, which is why the number is so high. The city’s positivity rate is at 17%.

Although Monday’s cases are high, Turner said the reproduction rate is low, which means the virus is not spreading as much. He also noted that the hospitalization rate and ICU numbers are going down.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Persse said data is showing some improvements, which is “very good and welcomed.” Persse said the improvements are not because of the vaccine, but that people are becoming more diligent by wearing a mask after the holidays. He also addressed the confusion on getting the second vaccine dose, saying it’s still important to get the second dose and depending on which vaccine you received, getting the second dose a few days before or after to the 21-day or 28-day recommended time span is still going to be effective.

“We understand the anxiety but we will reach out to everyone we vaccinate about second doses. Please only call if you haven’t heard from us 48 hours from your due date. The volume of calls about second doses ahead of time is creating long wait times at our call center,” The Houston Health Department tweeted on Monday.

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