HOUSTON — The State of Texas is giving a green light to health care providers to begin phase 1B vaccinations for people 65 years and older or with certain medical conditions.
The announcement is bringing a flood of questions from people wanting to know where to go to get in line.
Notifications are going out
“I think most facilities are doing what we are doing which is notifying the people we want to get vaccinated, to go ahead and schedule and get the vaccine, rather than having long lines and a sign outside saying walk in and get your COVID vaccine," said Dr. Melanie Mouzoon, with Kelsey-Seybold Clinic.
She says Kelsey-Seybold is already moving into phase 1B. Last week, Memorial Hermann told us it planned to start early this week. Afterwards, we heard from a lot of you, asking what day will phase 1B begin at area hospitals.
When we checked back with Memorial Hermann Monday, they told us they were still working on a rollout date. Houston Methodist told us it would likely be next week.
Don't have a doctor / clinic / hospital? You may need to call around
If you don't have a primary care physician you may need to look for another option to get the vaccine.
“The large pharmacies are going to be getting allotments as well, CVS and Walgreens, so I expect they will be doing some outreach for people that don’t have providers," said Dr. Mouzoon.
The state health department also has a list online of every place the vaccines have been shipped. You can see the full list here. When we asked, a spokesperson told us people in phase 1B can call those places directly and ask for an vaccine appointment.
Check the map to see where COVID vaccine has been delivered
The state of Texas has put out a map, showing locations that have received the COVID-19 vaccine. Launch the map here.
Can you travel after getting both doses?
Another viewer wanted to know, can you travel after you’ve received both doses of the vaccine?
“Whether traveling or staying in town, the infection prevention measures in terms of social distancing, mask wearing, washing hands does not change," said Dr. Hana El Sahly, with Baylor College of Medicine.
She says the reason to still be cautious about travel, the vaccine prevents the symptoms of COVID but researchers don’t know if it prevents you from spreading the virus.
Editor's note: When we checked back with Memorial Hermann Tuesday, Dr. James McCarthy, Chief Physician Executive, told KHOU 11 News they had begun stage IB vaccinations. Additionally, the hospital system issued the following statement. “Memorial Hermann is complying with the State’s guidance for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, which prioritizes vaccination in its Phase 1A and Phase 1B for vaccine distribution. Due to limited availability of vaccine, Memorial Hermann is currently offering the vaccine by invitation only to established, active Memorial Hermann Medical Group patients 65 years of age and older – in addition to those who are in the State’s Phase 1A – before inviting other established patient populations and the general community to get vaccinated. Memorial Hermann looks forward to making the vaccine available for all of our patients and members of the community.”