Houston Health Department prioritizing COVID-19 vaccinations for city’s most vulnerable residents

Vaccinating the most vulnerable residents
Vaccinating the most vulnerable residents

This week, the Houston Health Department will focus its COVID-19 vaccine allocation efforts on people at the highest risk for severe illness and those in vulnerable communities, the department said in a release.

“We know it is important to vaccinate the people who are the most vulnerable, and they should be among the first to get shots, especially when supply is scarce,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner in the release. “The Houston Health Department’s distribution plan for next week focuses on those with a higher risk for illness and death and people living in vulnerable communities.”

The department’s emphasis on vaccinating vulnerable populations means it will not open first dose appointments for the qualifying general public next week.

The department received 9,000 additional doses on Thursday and will prioritize approximately 5,300 for its Area Agency on Aging, 2,400 for providers in vulnerable communities, and 1,300 for previously scheduled appointments.

The department will also schedule 11,971 second dose appointment due the week of February 1.

Those who received their first dose from the health department will be contacted to schedule a second dose appointment. The department said people do not need to call about a second dose unless they have not been contacted 48 hours before Moderna’s recommended 28-day due date. The department is providing second doses only to those who it provided a first dose to.

Houston Health department appointments are currently full based on supply. The department urges residents not to contact the city’s COVID-19 call center about first dose appointments because no slots are currently available.

People can register for the HoustonRecovers subscription of AlertHouston to learn about new Houston Health Department first dose appointment opportunities through email, text message, voice call, or mobile app push notification, according to the department.

When first dose vaccination appointments are available, the appointment portal for Houston Health Department vaccine clinics will open at HoustonEmergency.org/covid19.

People can also visit HoustonEmergency.org/covid19 for a list of local COVID-19 vaccine providers.


About the Author:

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team as a community associate producer in 2019. During her time in H-Town, she's covered everything from fancy Houston homes to tropical storms. Previously, she worked at Austin Monthly Magazine and KAGS TV, where she earned a Regional Edward R. Murrow award for her work as a digital producer.