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 »

COVID-19
VACCINE TRACKER

473,315

Vaccines Administered*

248,369

Patients Vaccinated*

222,087

Patients Vaccinated with Both Doses*

*By Memorial Hermann Health System as of end of day 9/20/2021

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 members of the community 12 years of age and older 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 12 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 continues to be administered under a EUA to children ages 12 to 15.

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 12 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 12 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

Memorial Hermann is pleased to offer free COVID-19 vaccinations for individuals 12 years of age and older at clinics across Greater Houston. To schedule a vaccination appointment, click here. Please note, minors (individuals 12 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.

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 children with underlying health conditions. Because the delta variant is so easily transmissible, hospitalizations among young children and unvaccinated adolescents have dramatically increased since early summer 2021. 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 reduces the chance they could spread the infection to others.

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.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is responsible for approving and granting Emergency Use Authorization for COVID-19 vaccines, is globally respected for its scientific standards of vaccine safety, effectiveness, and quality. The FDA has evaluated data from tens of thousands of 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.

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no evidence that any vaccine, including the COVID-19 vaccines, affects development or fertility. In fact, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that breastfeeding women get a COVID-19 vaccine so that antibodies can be passed through breast milk and help protect their child from the virus.

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.

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.

Unlike the flu shot, COVID-19 vaccines do not contain food products such as egg proteins. Be aware, however, that some people have an allergy to polyethylene glycol (PEG), which is used in many medications, including the COVID-19 vaccine. If your child is allergic to 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.

We strongly encourage eligible children to get vaccinated as soon as possible so they can return to enjoying pre-pandemic activities safely while protecting themselves and all those around them.

COVID-19 Booster Shot

At this time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that individuals whose immune system is moderately to severely compromised receive a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Individuals who are moderately to severely immunocompromised are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 because they are more at risk of serious, prolonged illness and may benefit from an additional dose of the vaccine to ensure they have enough protection against the virus. Individuals are encouraged to talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting the additional dose or booster shot is appropriate for them.

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.

At this time, the CDC does not recommend additional COVID-19 vaccine doses or booster shots for any other population. However, the CDC is preparing to offer booster shots for all Americans eight (8) months after an individual's second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine beginning the week of Sept. 20, 2021.

According to the CDC, the authorization of an extra Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine dose for those with a compromised immune system does not apply to individuals who received the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine. Currently, there is not enough data to determine whether immunocompromised people who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine also have an improved antibody response following an additional dose of the same vaccine. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the CDC are actively working to provide additional guidance on this issue.

The additional dose or booster shot should be the same vaccine product as your initial two doses (Pfizer or Moderna). If one of these products is unavailable, the other vaccine product may be administered. An individual should not receive more than a total of three (3) Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses.

To schedule an appointment at a Memorial Hermann vaccine clinic, please complete our online COVID-19 Vaccine Request Form. Or, you may receive your booster shot without an appointment at one of our walk-in clinics, listed here.

Note: Prior to receiving your additional dose or booster shot, you will be required to self-attest that you meet the criteria for receiving an additional dose or booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. To verify the vaccine product and the appropriate timing of the additional dose or booster shot, please have your COVID-19 vaccination card with you when you receive your additional dose or booster shot.

Yes. Individuals who qualify for an additional dose or booster shot of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine may receive their shot at Memorial Hermann regardless of where they received their first two doses of the vaccine. To schedule an appointment at a Memorial Hermann vaccine clinic, please complete our online COVID-19 Vaccine Request Form. Or, you may receive your additional dose or booster shot without an appointment at one of our walk-in clinics, listed here.

Note: Prior to receiving your additional dose or booster shot, you will be required to self-attest that you meet the criteria for receiving an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. To verify the vaccine product and the appropriate timing of the additional dose or booster shot, please have your COVID-19 vaccination card with you when you receive your additional dose or booster shot.

To verify the vaccine product and the appropriate timing of the additional dose or booster shot, please have your COVID-19 vaccination card with you. At the time of scheduling your appointment or prior to receiving your booster shot, you will be required to self-attest that you meet the criteria for receiving an additional dose or booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. No additional documentation is required.

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 12 years of age and older at clinics across Greater Houston. To schedule a vaccination appointment, click here. Please note, minors (individuals 12 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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