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COVID-19 Vaccine Information

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As a reminder, all our St. Luke’s Health vaccine clinics are by appointment only.

COVID-19 Vaccination Task Force at St. Luke’s Health

Thank you for your interest in St. Luke’s Health’s COVID-19 vaccine information. As a State-designated COVID-19 vaccine distribution hub, St. Luke’s Health invites all members of the community to register for the opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Registered individuals who meet eligibility for vaccination will be notified when appointments are available. Distribution and availability of the COVID vaccine will be coordinated by our vaccination task force in accordance with federal and state recommendations.

Who Is Eligible for a Vaccine?

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has determined that all adults age 18 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine beginning March 29. Additionally, people ages 16-18 with an underlying medical condition are still eligible as members of Phase 1b.

By completing our COVID-19 Vaccination Request Form, you will be registering for the opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at a St. Luke’s Health vaccination clinic. Registered individuals who meet eligibility for vaccination will be selected at random and notified when appointments are available. St. Luke’s will make appointments available based on vaccine supply and will prioritize vaccine distribution in accordance with guidance from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

How Do I Schedule a Vaccine?

To schedule a first dose appointment - in the bottom right-hand corner of the page, click our chatbot icon, then select “Schedule Vaccine” from the group of options. More appointments will be added every day, so check back often if you are unable to secure an appointment.

If no appointments are available for your desired date or time, please join our waitlist using the inquiry form, also on this page. You will be alerted as new times become available.

Patients must receive their first and second doses of the vaccine at the same location. Please keep this in mind when scheduling.

To schedule a second dose appointment - simply refer to the date and time written on the back of your COVID-19 Vaccination card and return to the same site of your first dose at that designated date and time.

How Do I Cancel a Vaccine?

If you are no longer able to attend your scheduled appointment or no longer need it, please take the time to cancel. Doing so allows us to use this time and vaccine dose to vaccinate another member of our community. To cancel, please email [email protected].

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For more information, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions. If you are interested in receiving the vaccine series when available, please complete this questionnaire. Completing the questionnaire in advance will enable us to expedite scheduling. A member of our team will contact you once the vaccines are available. Please note: If you arrive at an appointment and do not meet the requirements, you will be turned away and will not receive a vaccine.

If you have any questions, please call 281-407-8137.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19

General FAQs About the COVID-19 Vaccine
What COVID-19 vaccines are available?

Currently, three vaccines have been authorized by the FDA based on clinical testing, developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. Availability may determine which of the vaccines you receive.

How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?

TThe messenger RNA (mRNA) in the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines teach your body how to make a harmless spike protein, which mimics the outside of a SARS-COV-2 particle. While they are harmless, your body still mounts an immune response and develops antibodies to eliminate this specific protein. That way, if you are exposed in the future to COVID-19, your body already knows how to neutralize the virus.

There is no risk of developing COVID-19 from this vaccine because it doesn’t contain any live virus.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine works similarly. However, instead of using mRNA as a recipe for the harmless spike protein, it uses a virus called adenovirus type 26 (Ad26). Typically, Ad26 causes the common cold, but the form of Ad26 contained in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is an inactive version, meaning it can not make you sick.

Why should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Getting vaccinated is one of many steps you can take to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Protection from COVID-19 is critically important because, for some people, it can cause severe illness or death. Even if you’re young and healthy, there is no telling how COVID-19 may affect you. Additionally, mass vaccinations are the most effective way to end epidemics.

How much does it cost to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccine is free, regardless of insurance status. However, some facilities may charge an administration fee of about $15, but insurance plans typically cover this.

If I’m young and generally healthy, do I need to get the vaccine?

It's true that most people who are young and healthy have survived COVID-19, but it's also true that the disease can damage the lungs, heart, and brain. Because this disease is so new, we don't know what kind of long-term health problems it can cause.

Another reason to get the vaccine is that it protects those around you. Even if you can quickly recover from COVID-19, someone that you could potentially infect may not. This makes vaccines important in protecting populations — not just individuals.

If I already had COVID-19, should I still get the vaccine?

People who have had the disease in the past are advised to get a vaccine when it's available to them. Currently, experts don't know how long someone is protected from getting infected again after recovering from COVID-19. The time period of natural immunity can vary from person to person, but it's possible that it doesn't last very long.

The CDC is still trying to learn more about natural immunity and will keep the public informed as new information comes to light.

How long should I wait to get the vaccine after recovering from COVID-19?

While there are no official guidelines for this scenario, our doctors recommend waiting a few weeks to get the vaccine after recovering from COVID-19. This is because your immune system is weakened after eradicating a disease. While it is completely safe to get the vaccine with a weaker immune system, it may result in a weakened immune response, and the vaccine won’t be as effective.

Will the vaccine help us achieve herd immunity?

Yes, but we currently do not know how long it will take to reach it. More contagious viruses require a larger percentage of the population to be vaccinated before herd immunity sets in. Experts predict that we may achieve herd immunity when about 70% of the population is vaccinated.

When can we return to normal life?

We can't expect for life to return to how it was before COVID-19 until around 70% of the population is immune. By then, we will have achieved herd immunity, which is the point at which the disease will no longer be likely to spread. Because companies are still working to make the vaccines available in phases, it will take time to get to that point. With companies producing and distributing vaccines to select groups set by the Texas state government, we can hopefully expect more vaccinations to be available to the public soon.

Where can I get more information about the COVID-19 vaccine?

For additional information on COVID-19 and the vaccine approval process, we recommend reviewing the FAQs on the CDC website and FDA website.

FAQs About COVID-19 Vaccine Safety & Efficacy
Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?

At St. Luke’s Health, safety is our highest priority, and we only administer vaccines that are recommended by the FDA as safe and effective.

Was the development of the COVID-19 vaccine rushed?

While the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines do use new technology and were developed quickly, the use of mRNA in these vaccines is actually a process that researchers have been working on for over 30 years. These vaccines have gone through rigorous clinical trials and have been thoroughly scrutinized by the FDA before being deemed safe and effective for emergency use.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses viral vector technology, which scientists have been studying since the 1970s. This technology also formed the basis of the Ebola vaccines during recent outbreaks in Africa. Much like the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been rigorously studied and thoroughly scrutinized by the FDA.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women?

Currently, there is no data for how the vaccines affect pregnant women, as they weren’t included in the clinical trials. According to our doctors, there is no reason why it would be unsafe for a pregnant woman to get the vaccine, pregnancy is a risk factor for developing more severe COVID-19 symptoms. However, choosing to get vaccinated is an individual decision that you should make when considering the potential risks and benefits.

The vaccine poses no threat to a baby who is breastfeeding. These vaccinations do not contain a live virus, so there is nothing that a mother could pass to her child through breast milk. In fact, once a mother develops antibodies from the vaccine, she can pass these onto her child through breastfeeding, which provides her baby with some protection against COVID-19.

Is it safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine while on an immunosuppressant?

Yes, it is safe for someone on immunosuppressants to get the COVID-19 vaccine, as it does not contain any live virus. However, these medications weaken the immune response, and so people on these medications might not develop as much protection against COVID-19 as someone not on immunosuppressants.

How effective is the COVID-19 vaccine?

Both the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine have efficacy rates of about 95%, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has an efficacy rate of 66.3%. While it is still possible to develop COVID-19 after receiving one or both doses of the vaccine, it is unlikely that you will notice any severe symptoms.

Which vaccine is best for preventing COVID-19?

According to the FDA, we should not draw comparisons between the vaccines unless they are tested against one another in a head-to-head clinical trial. However, all approved vaccines were at least 50% more effective than the placebo at preventing COVID-19, which is consistent with FDA recommendations.

Why do some of the COVID-19 vaccines require two doses?

Some vaccines require two inoculations over a period of time because the combination can create a stronger immune response in the recipient. The first round gives a small dose that your immune system can become familiar with, and the second one delivers a little more of the virus to train your immune system fully.

Is the first dose of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines at all effective at preventing COVID-19?

Yes, the first dose of the vaccine is somewhat effective at preventing COVID-19. According to data from the manufacturers, the Pfizer vaccine is about 52% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infections after one dose, and the Moderna vaccine is about 80% effective.

However, it takes time for these initial immune responses to take effect after the first dose. Take extra caution the first week or two after getting the vaccine, as your body has yet to develop an effective response.

When do I need to get my second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?

If you received the Pfizer vaccine, you should get your second dose anywhere between 21-42 days after your initial dose, while the ideal window for the Moderna vaccine is 28-42 days. The medical professional administering your first dose will provide more information.

If you are unable to make your second dose appointment or have questions, please contact us at [email protected].

Do I have to wear a mask after getting the COVID-19 vaccine?

Even after you get vaccinated, you should continue wearing a mask. The first reason for this is because the vaccines that are currently approved for emergency use by the FDA require two doses given 3-4 weeks apart. Your body needs this time to build an immune response.

Another reason is that no vaccine is 100% effective at preventing COVID-19. People who get the vaccine are much less likely to get the disease (and if they do, they have a much lower risk of developing severe symptoms), but they can still carry and spread the disease to more vulnerable populations.

Vaccines are just one tool in our toolkit to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is important that we continue to follow CDC guidelines for the pandemic, even after getting one or both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Please remember to wash your hands regularly, always wear face coverings in public, and follow social distancing guidelines and government quarantine directives in your area.

FAQs About COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution & Administration
When will the COVID-19 vaccine be available?

Vaccines to protect against COVID-19 are available now. The FDA has issued Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) for COVID-19 vaccines manufactured by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. Distribution of the vaccine is determined by state and local health departments, and some St. Luke’s Health facilities with a supply of the vaccine are participating in the administration of COVID-19 vaccines according to that distribution plan.

When can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The Texas Department of State Health Services has announced that everyone age 16 and older is now eligible to receive the vaccine.

How is the COVID-19 vaccine given?

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses, administered three or four weeks apart. When a vaccine is given, information will be provided about when to get the second dose.

Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

If you qualify for the current phase of distribution, please refer to the Texas COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Locations map for providers in your area. It is important to contact facilities prior to showing up to ensure they have vaccines available.

St. Luke’s Health is home to three state-designated vaccination hubs. Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center in the Texas Medical Center (with distribution sites at Rice University and Texas Southern University), The Woodlands Hospital in North Houston (with a distribution site at Woodforest Bank Stadium), and St. Joseph Health College Station Hospital in the Brazos Valley are among dozens of providers that have been chosen as vaccination hubs by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

What does it mean to be a state-designated vaccination hub?

In an effort to provide more access to the vaccine, the state of Texas designated vaccination hubs in areas that are experiencing high case numbers. These hubs have a larger supply of vaccines than a typical hospital, and their registration processes are simple to maneuver.

What side effects should I anticipate when getting vaccinated?

Vaccine recipients may experience pain at the injection site, headache, low-grade fever, fatigue, and soreness. Do not worry if you experience these—they are signs that your immune system is developing antibodies to protect you from COVID-19.

Will there be enough vaccines for everyone who wants one?

The Texas Department of State Health Services has announced that everyone age 16 and older is now eligible to receive the vaccine.

COVID-19 Healthy Resources