Mayor Sylvester Turner applauded the Houston Health Department for quickly establishing the City's first COVID-19 vaccination site and providing the Moderna vaccine to more than one-thousand people.
"After a slow start and some technical issues, the Health Department vaccinated more people than initially planned. Clinic staff vaccinated 1,008 people in one day at the first Houston vaccination clinic. In the coming days and weeks, there will be more providers at various locations throughout the City," he said.
The Houston Health Department conducted their first vaccination clinic the first weekend of January. Interested individuals who qualify to get the vaccine based on the state's 1A and 1B criteria must make an appointment through the COVID-19 call center at 832-393-4220 between the hours of 7:30 a.m. 4 p.m.
While the Health Department has limited daily capacity to provide vaccines, Mayor Turner said the city will establish additional COVID-19 vaccine distribution sites soon.
"My goal is to get the vaccines to people as soon as we get them, " Turner said. "Even though there is a lot of vaccine hesitancy, people still have a strong desire to get the vaccine, and that is what today demonstrates."
The State of Texas' Phase 1B distribution plan prioritizes people 65 and older and 16 and older who have at least one chronic medical condition, putting them at increased risk.
The Houston Health Department received the Moderna vaccine, and it is recommended for persons 18 years of age and older in the U.S. population under the FDA's Emergency Use Authorization. Per CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
Medical conditions placing people at high risk include cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart conditions, solid organ transplantation, obesity and severe obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Frontline healthcare workers are also eligible for vaccination as part of the Phase 1A distribution plan.
"Seven out of 10 people who die of COVID-19 are 65 and older. If you look in the line today, we see some of these folks, and I am grateful for that," said Houston Health Department Director Stephen Williams.
Information about COVID-19 vaccines, including safety and efficacy, is available at the HoustonEmergency.org/covid19.