Note: Information about the COVID-19 vaccine is changing rapidly. As we learn more, we will update the following Frequently Asked Questions with new information.


Memorial Hermann invites all members of the community to register for the COVID-19 vaccine at a Memorial Hermann vaccination clinic. Register Now »

Now Offering Walk-In COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics: Memorial Hermann is pleased to offer free COVID-19 vaccination walk-in clinics to community members across Greater Houston. Learn more »

COVID-19
VACCINE TRACKER

530,180

Vaccines Administered*

284,958

Patients Vaccinated*

231,284

Patients Vaccinated with Both Doses*

*By Memorial Hermann Health System as of end of day 12/04/2021

COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance

As hospitals and doctor’s offices work diligently to vaccinate our community as quickly as possible, we encourage everyone to:

  • Check the website. Memorial Hermann's website is the best source of accurate, up-to-date information related to our COVID-19 vaccine distribution process. By limiting calls and unscheduled visits to our hospitals and doctor’s offices that are related to vaccine inquiries, we can more effectively assist and provide care for our patients and their loved ones.
  • Register for Vaccination. Memorial Hermann invites all eligible members of the community to register for the opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at a Memorial Hermann vaccination clinic.

    Registered individuals will be notified when appointments are available. Memorial Hermann 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. Register Now »

About Vaccines

Vaccines train the body’s immune system to recognize and fight viruses and bacteria. When the body is exposed again to a virus after being vaccinated against it, the body is immediately ready to fight the illness. Vaccines currently save millions of lives every year by preventing diseases like diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles and influenza.

Getting a vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is a rigorous one, to ensure both safety and efficacy. The FDA must determine, based on substantial evidence and clinical data, that the vaccine is effective for immunizing people against the SARS-COV-2 virus and that its benefits outweigh its risks when used as intended. As of Aug. 23, 2021, the FDA has approved the Pfizer vaccine for distribution to individuals aged 16 years and older. Read more about the FDA’s approval process.

During a public health emergency, the FDA can issue an EUA to allow the use of unapproved medical products (or unapproved uses of approved medical products) to diagnose, treat or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases. Certain safety, efficacy and other criteria must be met using the best available evidence.

A virus can spread very quickly throughout a community infecting many people. However, if enough people get vaccinated, germs cannot spread from person to person as quickly and the vast majority of people will not get sick. This is what is known as herd immunity. Herd immunity protects everyone, especially those people who cannot receive a vaccine for one reason or another, those who do not have a strong immune response to vaccines, and those with serious allergies or weakened immune systems.

About COVID-19 Vaccines

The vaccine developed by Pfizer has been approved by the FDA for people ages 16 years and older, and is available for children ages 5 to 15 under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the FDA. Vaccines developed by Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have been granted EUA by the FDA for people ages 18 and older.

Although three vaccines are available in the United States at this time, more are in development. To learn about ongoing trials and new developments, visit the Coronavirus Prevention Network website. The network was formed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Each vaccine will undergo the same stringent FDA review process before it receives full approval or Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). As of now, the Pfizer vaccine has been fully approved, which means the FDA has determined, based on substantial evidence and clinical data, that the Pfizer vaccine is effective for immunizing people ages 16 and older against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and that its benefits outweigh its risks when used as intended. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have received EUA, which means the FDA has determined that, based on the best available evidence, the vaccines are safe and effective in preventing a COVID-19 infection. The Pfizer vaccine is available for children ages 5 to 15 under a EUA.

Before any vaccine is widely distributed to the public, it is tested in clinical trials on tens of thousands of people to determine its safety and efficacy. While development and authorization of the COVID-19 vaccines were accelerated through global collaboration and the urgency to end the pandemic, this does not mean that safety corners were cut; the vaccines went through the same stringent testing process that other vaccines go through before public dissemination.

As of Aug. 23, 2021, the FDA – which is globally respected for its scientific standards of vaccine safety, effectiveness and quality – has fully approved the Pfizer vaccine for use in preventing COVID-19 in people ages 16 and older. This means the FDA has determined, based on substantial evidence and clinical data, that the Pfizer vaccine is effective for immunizing people against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and that its benefits outweigh its risks when used as intended.

In addition, the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have undergone stringent review processes and received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA. This means the FDA has determined, based on the best available evidence, that the vaccines are safe and effective in preventing a COVID-19 infection. Prior to receiving FDA approval, the Pfizer vaccine was also distributed under an Emergency Use Authorization – and continues to be administered under a EUA to children ages 5 to 15.

It is a common misconception that vaccines prevent someone from contracting the virus. Vaccines train the body’s immune system to recognize and fight viruses and bacteria. When the body is exposed to a virus after being vaccinated against it, the body is immediately ready to fight the illness. Because the body is able to respond more quickly, you are less likely to experience symptoms of the illness, especially severe and life-threatening ones. Based on clinical trials and observations following the administration of more than hundreds of millions of doses, we know the COVID-19 vaccines are extremely effective in preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from the virus – including new strains such as the delta variant.

At this time, there is not enough data about the vaccines to know how long they will provide protection from COVID-19.

Yes. While doctors do not yet know how long you will be protected after having COVID-19, they do know it is possible to contract the virus again. Getting vaccinated protects you from suffering severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. In addition, preliminary data show that natural antibodies from a previous COVID-19 infection do not provide as much protection as the vaccines do against more contagious and aggressive strains of the virus, including the delta variant.

Yes. We all need to continue the 3 W’s – wearing a mask, watching your distance and washing your hands regularly – until we know how long the vaccine protects against the virus and we gain community control of COVID-19.

No. None of the vaccines currently available use a live version of the virus, so a person who receives any of these vaccines cannot contract COVID-19 from the vaccination.

Side effects may vary depending on which vaccine you receive, but common side effects include fatigue, headache, muscle and joint pain, swollen lymph nodes and pain at the injection site, which is generally the upper arm. Before you receive your vaccine, specific information about your vaccine’s anticipated side effects will be provided to you.

Individuals 18 years of age or older are eligible to receive the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. Children 5 to 17 years of age are eligible to receive only the Pfizer vaccine.

Additional information about the vaccines can be found in the FDA's fact sheets for the Pfizer vaccine, Moderna vaccine and Johnson & Johnson vaccine. You may find general information about the COVID-19 vaccine on the FDA’s website.

While the chance of developing blood clots, Guillain-Barre Syndrome or any other adverse reaction from the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is extremely rare, individuals should contact their healthcare provider if they develop serious symptoms in the days and weeks after being vaccinated. Symptoms of blood clots may include headache, blurred vision, fainting or loss of consciousness, loss of control over movement in part of the body, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, leg pain/swelling and seizures. Symptoms of Guillain-Barre Syndrome may include varying degrees of weakness or tingling sensations starting in the legs and hands, loss of reflexes and an inability to walk, climb stairs or maintain steadiness when walking.

While the chance of developing blood clots, Guillain-Barre Syndrome or any other adverse reaction from the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is extremely rare, individuals should contact their healthcare provider if they develop serious symptoms in the days and weeks after being vaccinated. Symptoms of blood clots may include headache, blurred vision, fainting or loss of consciousness, loss of control over movement in part of the body, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, leg pain/swelling and seizures. Symptoms of Guillain-Barre Syndrome may include varying degrees of weakness or tingling sensations starting in the legs and hands, loss of reflexes and an inability to walk, climb stairs or maintain steadiness when walking.

No. The COVID-19 vaccines do not affect DNA. The vaccines train the body’s immune system to recognize and fight the virus.

No. You do not have to show proof of residency to get a COVID-19 vaccine, and you do not need a Social Security number.

Yes. To ensure we have accurate information for your vaccine record, we will ask for your photo ID. Any of the following forms of identification will be acceptable as photo ID:

  • Driver's licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent). We will accept current or expired identifications.
  • U.S. or foreign government-issued passport or identifications
  • A credit card with a photo
  • Employment or Student Identification card with photo

Yes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that pregnant women get a COVID-19 vaccine after research showed that the vaccine does not pose additional risks for mothers or babies. In addition, the CDC has stated the vaccines pose no risk for breastfeeding women or their babies. In fact, studies have shown that the COVID-19 vaccine provides protection to infants through breast milk.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, we encourage you to have a conversation with your healthcare provider to help you decide. In addition, according to the CDC, women younger than 50 years old should be aware of the rare but increased risk of blood clots with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and may consider other COVID-19 vaccine options available for which this risk has not been seen.

COVID-19 Vaccines and Children

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which authorized emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 in children ages 5-11, is globally respected for its scientific standards of vaccine safety, effectiveness and quality. The FDA evaluated data from 3100 pediatric study participants to ensure that each vaccine is safe. Based on this research, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that anyone who is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Keep in mind, low risk is not no risk. While most children with COVID-19 have mild symptoms or have no symptoms at all, severe illness and death have been reported in children under the age of 1 as well as in children with underlying health conditions. Vaccines are helpful in preventing illness and disease, and the COVID-19 vaccine is no different. Getting vaccinated protects children from developing severe complications from COVID-19 and may reduce the chance they could spread the infection to other more vulnerable family members and friends. Clinical trials in children ages 5-11 years found the vaccine to be 90.7% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19.

While doctors do not know yet how long we are protected after having COVID-19, they do know it is possible to contract the virus again—and early research is showing that natural immunity may not be as effective as vaccines in protecting against new strains of the virus. The CDC recommends vaccination even for those who were previously infected, especially as more infectious COVID-19 variants develop.

Although less likely, it is possible for vaccinated individuals to contract COVID-19 and spread it to others. This combined with more transmissible COVID-19 variants – which account for the majority of current cases in the U.S. – puts children at risk of getting sick with the virus and spreading it to others, particularly while in close contact with other children.

As with other vaccines, children may feel tired or have a sore arm, low-grade fever and other flu-like symptoms following COVID-19 vaccination. However, these symptoms are typically mild and go away within 48 hours.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no evidence that any vaccine, including the COVID-19 vaccine, impacts development or fertility.

Yes. Children with food allergies can safely get the COVID-19 vaccine. Unlike the flu shot, the COVID-19 vaccine does not contain food products such as egg proteins. If your child is allergic to polyethylene glycol (PEG), or has experienced a severe allergic reaction to other injectable treatments, please consult with a doctor.

Federal health officials—including those with the American Academy of Pediatrics—have advised that heart inflammation (myocarditis and pericarditis) is an extremely rare side effect of the COVID-19 vaccine. Importantly, for the young people who do experience this side effect, most cases are mild and individuals recover often on their own or with minimal treatment. Myocarditis and pericarditis are much more common in individuals who contract COVID-19, and the risks to the heart from COVID-19 infection can be more severe.

Yes, according to the CDC, the COVID-19 vaccine may be given simultaneously with other vaccines. Extensive experience with non-COVID-19 vaccines has shown that the ability of a vaccine to create an immune response and potential side effects are generally similar when vaccines are administered simultaneously as when they are administered alone.

The FDA has authorized a two-dose series of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 to 17 years of age. Each dose should be administered 21 days apart and eligible children are encouraged to get their first dose as soon as possible.

The COVID-19 vaccine dose for children ages 5 to 11 is one-third of the dose authorized for children ages 12 to 17. Other than the dose amount, there are no other differences between these vaccines, and both are highly effective.

Memorial Hermann is pleased to offer free COVID-19 vaccinations for children 5 years of age and older.

Anyone age 5 to 11 who wishes to receive the COVID-19 vaccine may visit any of Memorial Hermann’s COVID-19 Vaccine Walk-In Clinics that offer the Pfizer vaccine. Note: Memorial Hermann locations administering the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine will only vaccinate individuals 18 years of age and older. To schedule an appointment at one of Memorial Hermann’s COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics, please complete the online COVID-19 Vaccination Request Form. Appointments are not required. Minors (individuals ages 5 to 17) must be accompanied by an adult at the time of vaccination.

If you prefer to be vaccinated at a pediatrician’s office, the COVID-19 vaccine will be offered beginning next week to new (with doctor’s visit) and established patients ages 5 and above, with an appointment at Children’s Memorial Hermann Pediatrics locations and a number of Memorial Hermann-affiliated pediatrician practices. Parents should call the pediatrician's office to schedule their appointment. Appointments will be available Monday through Friday. Minors (individuals ages 5 to 17) must be accompanied by an adult at the time of vaccination.

COVID-19 Booster Shot

  • A COVID-19 booster shot is intended to increase the level of protection for eligible individuals who received an initial Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series at least 6 months prior or a Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least 2 months prior.
  • A COVID-19 additional or third dose is intended to improve the response of moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals to their initial Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series. An additional or third dose can be administered at least 4 weeks following the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna.

In line with new guidance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Memorial Hermann is offering Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to all eligible members of our community ages 18 and older.

Please pay careful attention to the eligibility guidelines below.

  • Individuals who received a Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are eligible for a booster shot at least six (6) months after their second dose.
  • For individuals who received a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, a booster shot is recommended if they received the single-dose vaccine at least two (2) months ago.

Remember that individuals who are eligible for a booster shot may choose which vaccine type they receive as a booster dose, mixing and matching brands if they prefer.

In addition, for those who are moderately to severely immunocompromised, the CDC recommends an additional dose – or a third dose – of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least 28 days after the second dose is administered.

Individuals should speak with their physician to determine whether a booster shot or additional/third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for them and, if so, which one.

According to the CDC, individuals with moderately to severely compromised immune systems include those who have:

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood.
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system.
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last two years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system.
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome).
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection.
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress their immune response.

No. There are now booster recommendations for all three available COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. According to the CDC, individuals may choose which vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson) they receive as a booster dose. Some may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received and others may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.

Eligible members of our community may visit any of Memorial Hermann’s walk-in clinics to receive their booster shot or additional/third dose. Note: The type of vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson) being offered, as well as hours of operation, will vary by walk-in location. This information is listed on the walk-in clinic website. Please visit a location that offers the type of vaccine you wish to receive. Be sure to have a photo ID with you, as well as your COVID-19 vaccination card to verify the appropriate timing of the vaccination.

Yes. Individuals who qualify for a booster shot or additional/third dose may receive their vaccination at Memorial Hermann regardless of where they received their initial vaccine series.

Please have a photo ID with you, as well as your COVID-19 vaccination card to verify the appropriate timing of your vaccination. No additional documentation is required.

Please note that minors will be required to have an adult accompany them to receive their vaccination. Minors do not have to show ID to receive the vaccine, but their parents/legal representatives do.

Getting Vaccinated At Memorial Hermann

Yes, individuals who receive an invitation to schedule vaccination can select a location for their appointment based on the vaccine being administered at that clinic.

Memorial Hermann is pleased to offer free COVID-19 vaccinations for individuals 5 years of age and older at clinics across Greater Houston. To schedule a vaccination appointment, click here. Please note, minors (individuals 5 through 17 years of age) will be required to have an adult accompany them to their vaccination appointment. Memorial Hermann locations administering the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine will only vaccinate individuals 18 years of age and older.

The invitation you received cannot be used by another individual. We encourage your loved ones to register for vaccination by completing Memorial Hermann’s COVID-19 Vaccination Request Form. They will be notified when appointments are available for them.

When you scheduled your vaccination, you should have received an automated confirmation text message from (281) 214-6637 or email from MHVaccination@memorialhermann.org. If you cannot find your confirmation, please call Memorial Hermann’s COVID-19 Vaccine Helpline at (833) 772-2864.

We strongly encourage you to keep your current appointment date and time. However, we understand circumstances can change. If you need to reschedule your appointment, locate the appointment confirmation that was sent to you via email from MHVaccination@memorialhermann.org and click on “Cancel My Appointment.” You will be able to reschedule after your initial appointment has been cancelled.

You do not need to take action to make sure your vaccination is registered. Memorial Hermann will report all vaccinations to ImmTrac2, the statewide immunization registry. That record will contain the details of your vaccination – the brand of vaccine you received, for instance, and when you receive the second dose – and it can be accessed later by medical professionals.

If you received your COVID-19 vaccination through Memorial Hermann, you may obtain a copy of your COVID-19 vaccination record through Memorial Hermann’s patient portal, Everyday Well. This online account is accessible via the web or an app on your phone. To sign up, click here and then follow the step-by-step directions listed on the page. Once logged in, you can access your medical records, including proof of COVID-19 vaccination. COVID-19 vaccination records can be located by clicking on the “Health Information” tab, then selecting “Health Summary,” and then scrolling down to the “Immunizations” section. Please note that it may take up to seven days for your COVID-19 vaccination record to appear in the “Immunizations” section of your Everyday Well patient portal.

If you need help creating your Everyday Well account, please call (713) 222-CARE (2273).

If you are unable to access your vaccination records through Everyday Well, you may also request them through the Memorial Hermann Release of Information Department. Click here for more information.

Contact Us

Still have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine? Fill out the form below to contact a representative from our Nurse Health Line.

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