COVID-19 Vaccines - Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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COVID-19 Vaccines

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized three COVID-19 vaccines. VA is following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance to pause in providing the Janssen vaccine at this time. This pause is due to a concern about possible rare side effects. Your safety is our top priority. For more information, go to the CDC website. Read the CDC and FDA statement on the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. If you have a vaccine appointment scheduled, your VA health facility will work with you to determine what to do next.

Congress has passed a new law that allows us to offer COVID-19 vaccines to more people. VA is now able to offer vaccine to the following groups who are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine at VA when their local VA facilities have enough vaccine:

  • Veterans
  • Spouse of a Veteran
  • Caregivers of a Veteran
  • Recipients of Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) benefits

The best way to stay informed is to sign up to tell us you'd like to get a COVID-19 vaccine at VA. Your local VA facility will then contact you when they have a vaccine for you.

For your continued health and safety during this pandemic, please don't come to a VA health facility to request a COVID-19 vaccine without an appointment unless you are coming to a specific scheduled event such as a walk-in clinic or drive-through clinic that does not require an appointment.

Note: Your employer, pharmacy, or local public health officials may offer you a COVID-19 vaccine. We encourage you to take the first opportunity you have to get a vaccine at the most convenient location for you.

Upcoming Vaccine Clinics

Houston VA has plenty of COVID vaccine and we are now vaccinating Veterans of all ages (regardless of whether they are enrolled at the VA), their spouses and caregivers, as well as CHAMPVA beneficiariesRead more about eligibility for the vaccine.

We're following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance to pause in providing the Janssen vaccine at this time. This pause is due to a concern about possible rare side effects. Your safety is our top priority.

For more information, go to the CDC website

No appointment is needed for the vaccine clinics below.

Vaccine Clinics at Houston VA (Pfizer)

  • Monday-Friday: 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Walk-in, Building 108A
  • Wednesday-Friday: 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Drive Thru. Enter Almeda gate.
  • Saturday: 8 a.m.-noon, Drive Thru. Enter Almeda gate.
  • Saturday: noon-4 p.m., Walk-in main medical center Primary Care hallway on first floor

Vaccine Clinics at our Community Based Outpatient Clinics

Information for all Vaccine Clinics

If you already have an appointment to get the vaccine, please keep your appointment. Appointments for the vaccine only are being held in Building 108A, just outside the main hospital entrance. 

Individuals receiving a two-dose series of vaccinations will receive an appointment for their second vaccine dose when they check in to get the first dose.

If you would prefer to make an appointment to get the COVID vaccine at our main medical center during the week, call us at 713-794-8985.

Thank you for choosing the VA as your healthcare provider. It is our honor and privilege to serve you.

VA Continues Masking Requirement at All VA Facilities Nationally

Veteran and employee safety continue to be our top concern during the COVID-19 pandemic. In May, we began requiring face coverings for everyone – Veterans, employees and visitors – entering a VA facility. This policy remains in place at all VA facilities even if state or local masking requirements change. We are also continuing to conduct daily temperature checks for employees, practicing physical distancing, frequent handwashing and other safety measures for your, and our employees’, safety. 

We encourage you to bring a face covering when you visit VA. If you do not have a face covering, we can provide one for use while you are here.

If you are hearing impaired and need to read lips, please let a VA employee know and we will accommodate your needs.

You can read more on the impact of masks on slowing the spread of COVID-19 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Your safe care is our mission.

COVID-19 Vaccines for MEDVAMC Veterans

Are you a Veteran who wants to indicate your interest in getting the COVID-19 vaccine or learn more about it? Sign up for our “Keep Me Informed” tool to express your interest in getting the vaccine and to learn more. 

About the vaccine

Manufactured by Pfizer, the vaccine we are currently distributing at the Houston VA has proven to be 95% effective in clinical trials with limited side effects. This marks a crucial first step in getting COVID-19 under control.

In early February, we also began administering the Moderna vaccine in addition to Pfizer.

We know you have a lot of questions, and information is changing quickly. Sign up for our “Keep Me Informed" tool for more information. VA will continue to update this page as we have new information to offer, so check back often for updates.

Who got the vaccine first?

Initial supplies of the COVID vaccine were limited nationwide. Per CDC guidance, VA began by vaccinating health care personnel – as they are essential in continuing to care for patients throughout the pandemic – and Veteran inpatients in our Houston VA Community Living Centers and Spinal Cord Injury and Disorder Centers. 

Who is getting the vaccine now?

Houston VA is vaccinating Veteran patients of any age.

How will I be contacted about getting the vaccine?

Houston VA is calling Veterans based on priority group. Veterans who haven't been contacted yet can call 713-794-8985 to schedule an appointment or visit one of the vaccine clinics above. When you are called to schedule your vaccine appointment, you will be provided details about where to go on campus to get your shot.

I have a specific medical condition and don’t know if it’s a good idea for me to be vaccinated. Who should I ask?

If you have a question about your personal medical history, please communicate with your primary care provider. You can also learn quite a bit about the specifics of the COVID-19 vaccine at our Keep Me Informed tool.

When will I be contacted about getting the vaccine?

The VA’s goal is to offer the vaccine to all Veterans who choose to be vaccinated. With more than 130,000 Veterans registered for care at our Houston VA and community clinics, it will take us some time to obtain enough vaccine and work our way through the high risk priority groups. Please sign up for the VA’s Keep Me Informed tool to indicate your interest in getting the vaccine and learn more about where we are in the vaccination process. Houston VA is eager to distribute the vaccine to all interested Veterans. Please be patient as the situation develops.

In the meantime, what can I do to fight COVID-19?

Keep up the 3W’s!

It’s important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions. Even after vaccination, Veterans and employees should continue to:

Wear a face covering
Watch your distance (stay 6 feet apart)
Wash hands frequently

Contact Info

Location

  • Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

Contact Number(s)

  • 800-553-2278

Hours of Operation

  • By Appointment Only
    When Available