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.
Special notice: Memorial Hermann has been selected by the State of Texas to serve as a vaccine hub. For additional information click here or email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (833) 772-2864.
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 »
Patients Vaccinated with Both Doses*
*By Memorial Hermann Health System as of end of day 5/6/2021
As hospitals and doctor’s offices work diligently to vaccinate our community as quickly as possible, we encourage everyone to:
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. 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.
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.
Vaccines developed by Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have been granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the FDA and are being distributed across the United States.
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 approval or EUA, which means the FDA has determined there is substantial evidence that the vaccine is safe and effective in preventing a COVID-19 infection.
While the three COVID-19 vaccines currently available to us are approved under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by FDA, that does not mean they were improperly studied or vetted. The FDA is globally respected for its scientific standards of vaccine safety, effectiveness and quality. The organization has made it abundantly clear that they evaluated data from tens of thousands of study participants to fully ensure that each vaccine candidate was safe for the general public (those age 16 and older for the Pfizer vaccine, and those age 18 and older for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines). In addition to these clinical trials, we now have observations following the administration of hundreds of millions of doses to date in the U.S.
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 and death from the virus.
At this time, there is not enough data about the vaccines to know how long they will provide protection from COVID-19. However, research has shown that the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are still highly effective six months after being fully vaccinated.
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.
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.
The COVID-19 vaccine is currently available to individuals 16 years of age and older. Individuals must be 16 years of age or older to receive the Pfizer vaccine and 18 years of age or older to receive the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Memorial Hermann believes – based on scientific evidence – that the benefits of receiving the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine still far outweigh the exceptionally uncommon risks.
We also believe, based on the latest research/scientific evidence, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is safe, effective and poses little danger when individuals are aware of the risks. Furthermore, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is delivered in a single dose and does not require ultra-cold freezer storage, remains the most practical choice for many individuals.
Memorial Hermann will continue to comply with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and recommendations for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which now include a warning about the increased risk of very rare but severe blood clots.
While the chance of developing blood clots – or any 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.
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:
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.
Getting vaccinated, however, is a personal choice. 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.
Yes, individuals who receive an invitation to schedule vaccination at Memorial Hermann can select a location for their appointment based on the vaccine being administered at that clinic, which will be noted next to the clinic name. Also, as Memorial Hermann begins to offer more walk-in vaccination opportunities, individuals will be informed upon arrival which brand of vaccine is available and can decide whether they wish to receive it.
In accordance with guidance from the State, all individuals 16 years of age and older are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination at Memorial Hermann. We encourage members of the community to complete Memorial Hermann’s COVID-19 Vaccination Request Form to register for vaccination.
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.
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.