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COVID-19 vaccines and tests: Here is everything you need to know right now

FILE - In this Aug. 8, 2020, file photo, a test kit is displayed at a Texas Division of Emergency Management free COVID-19 testing site at Minute Maid Park Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
FILE - In this Aug. 8, 2020, file photo, a test kit is displayed at a Texas Division of Emergency Management free COVID-19 testing site at Minute Maid Park Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

HOUSTON – Everyone 12 and older is eligible for a free COVID-19 vaccination.

How to get tested for COVID-19

Check out the state’s map for multiple state-supported test collection sites operating at no cost to the individual, though you should call the site to confirm. You do not need symptoms to be tested, according to the state.

About vaccines

Information from the Texas Health and Human Services and the Texas Department of State Health Services.

The state’s Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel recommends vaccination for everyone who falls under the current Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorizations:

  • All vaccines available in the U.S. are authorized for people 18 years old and older.
  • The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for people 12 years old and older.

How to Find a Vaccine

There are many ways to get fully vaccinated in Texas -- you don’t need health insurance and the vaccine is always free. Please visit or call any of the vaccine resources below.

Use the National Vaccine Finder at Vaccines.gov. Vaccines.gov is the CDC website that helps people find vaccines in their area.

WhatsApp (in Spanish only) – Choose from a menu to find vaccine locations near you, learn how to get free rides and childcare for your vaccine appointment, and find out more about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Local Pharmacies

Check your local pharmacy’s website to see if vaccine appointments or walk-ins are available. See a list of retail pharmacies providing vaccinations.

Mobile Vaccine Program

The state mobile program provides a way for Texas businesses and people who are homebound to schedule free mobile vaccinations.

  • Texas businesses, groups, or civic organizations with five or more individuals who voluntarily choose to be vaccinated can call 844-90-TEXAS (844-908-3927) and select Option 3 to schedule a visit.
  • Texans who are homebound can call 844-90-TEXAS (844-908-3927) and select Option 1 to request a state mobile vaccination team to come to their home.

Find Vaccine by Phone

Get answers to questions or help finding a vaccine near you by phone:

  • Text your ZIP code to find vaccine, childcare, and free rides to clinics to GETVAX (438829) for English VACUNA (822862) for Spanish
  • Call 1-833-832-7067 (toll free) for referral to a local vaccine provider Call center is open Monday–Friday 8:00am–6:00pm, and Saturday 8:00am–5:00pm. Spanish language and other translators are available to help callers.
  • Call the national vaccine finder hotline toll free at 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489)

Texas Public Health Vaccine Scheduler

The Texas Vaccine Scheduler helps Texans get scheduled for a COVID-19 vaccine at clinics hosted by participating Texas public health entities.

Register online at GetTheVaccine.dshs.texas.gov. You will be notified by email or text when and where to get the vaccine. If there’s not a public health clinic near you, you will be directed to other places to get your vaccine.

Call (833) 832-7067 if you don’t have internet or need help signing up.

Vaccination Services for People with Disabilities

People with disabilities needing assistance getting vaccinated can contact the Disability Rights Texas Hotline (DRTx Vaccine Hotline) by phone or email, at 1-800-880-8401 or vaccine@DRTx.org.

You can also contact the national Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) at 888-677-1199 or DIAL@n4a.org for vaccine help.


About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, social media news and local crime.