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Friday, May 14, 2021

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How Houston adults can get vaccinated under expanded eligibility


Everyone in the United States is eligible for the coronavirus vaccine. | Courtesy of UH/The Cougar

Everyone in the United States is eligible for the coronavirus vaccine. | Courtesy of UH

With everyone over 18 now eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, it’s just a matter of finding somewhere to get a shot. 

Students have found it difficult to find vaccines, especially since early on there were many restrictions and an insufficient supply. 

“It’s been a little frustrating, but I also understand why the process is such a mess,” said media production junior Mia Shippey. “We’ve never been through anything like this before, so of course there is no precedent for this. It feels like we’re scrambling just as much now as we were at the beginning of the pandemic.”

If you missed out on the University vaccine clinics and still need to find a way to get the vaccine, Houston and Harris County have options available.

Harris County is offering appointment-less vaccines as of April 21, where if someone is 16 or older, they can pull into NRG Park and get their COVID-19 vaccine for free. People 16 or older but younger than 18 are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine only, however.

If the NRG Park location is too far, the Harris County Public Health website is still offering both walk-ins and appointments for getting a vaccine. 

Houston is also leading its own vaccination efforts aside from Harris County, which is only appointment-based at the moment. 

UH also held a few vaccination efforts during the school year, including collaborations with Walgreens and H-E-B. About 4,000 vaccines, including Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, were given to faculty, staff and students.

The University is hoping to administer more vaccines in the coming months. Their goal is to administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but with the recent pause in distributions, things may change. 

“We’re hoping to have some smaller clinics, and hoping for Johnson & Johnson so we can do a single dose if it’s safe in the late summer, early fall. All of this is hope,” said Suzy Harrington, UH assistant vice president for Student Affairs for Health and Well-Being.

If none of these options work, Harrington recommends calling your health care provider to assist in scheduling an appointment. 

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