HOUSTON – Nearly a quarter-million first vaccine doses are headed to the nine-county Houston area this week, including the first Johnson & Johnson shipment, according to state data and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.
A total of 97,450 of the 226,920 doses headed to the area this week will go directly to patients of 70 providers, including medical offices, clinics and some hospitals, state data showed.
Another 75,350 doses are allocated to vaccine hubs in the nine counties, including 44,910 to the six hubs in Harris County, 10,530 doses to the single hub in Fort Bend County and 10,690 to the two hubs in Montgomery county.
Finally, 42,120 Pfizer doses and 12,000 J & J doses will go directly to the FEMA site at NRG Park where residents on the Harris County and Houston waitlists will be vaccinated.
Joining a waitlist
There are 13 vaccine hubs in the Houston area and there are waitlists for each of them. Each waitlist is also managed a little differently.
“I am really pleased at the fact that there are a lot of people that are wanting to take the vaccine, it is the right thing to do,” said Houston Health Department Director Stephen Williams.
On Monday, the Harris County and Houston waitlists, among others, were expanded to include everyone who qualifies under the Texas phases 1A and 1B: frontline health care workers, residents of long-term care facilities, all who are 65 and older and everyone age 16 and older with medical conditions that put them at greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
Williams said he knows many people want to sign up for multiple “hub” waitlists, which can be done.
“We’re not encouraging it, but I understand it,” he said. “It’s only a disadvantage for the provider in that we get to that person and we call them and they’re not available.”
Go to houstonemergency.org/covid-19-vaccines or call 832-393-4301 to join the Houston waitlist directly. People with disabilities can call the Aging and Disability Resource Center at 832-393-5500. Anyone else needing registration assistance can contact the COVID-19 call center at 832-393-4220.
The expansion applies to people in Harris County, as well. Go to vacstrac.hctx.net or call 832-927-8787 to join the Harris County version of the waitlist.
To find information about all of the waitlists for the 13 vaccine hubs in the Houston area, go to dshs.texas.gov.
A year into the pandemic, Turner said that there is “light at the end of the pandemic tunnel” but people should continue to wear masks and keep their distance from others.