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YOU SHOULD KNOW: COVID-19 vaccine in East Texas

CBS19 has compiled a list of everything you need to know about the vaccine.

TYLER, Texas — As the DELTA variant spreads and COVID-19 cases rise across the country, many are left wondering where they can get a vaccine.

CBS19 has compiled a list of everything you need to know about the vaccine and vaccine availability in East Texas.

AVOID VIRUS EXPOSURE

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, either:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), or
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, laughs, sings, or talks

A person without noticeable symptoms can be a carrier of COVID-19 and can infect others just as easily as a person who is sick

Testing is the only way to truly confirm whether a person has COVID-19 and everyone is encouraged to respect the personal space of others by practicing social distancing, even after you have recovered from COVID-19 and even after you have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine

COVID-19 VACCINE

The COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and from Pfizer will be administered in two doses. For the Pfizer vaccine, the second shot is given 21 days after the first dose. The second Moderna vaccine is given 28 days after the first dose. The Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine is a single dose.

RELATED: Texas will open COVID-19 vaccine to all adults beginning March 29

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has directed vaccine providers to prioritize people 80-years-old or older when scheduling appointments and accommodate anyone in that age group who presents for vaccination, whether or not they have an appointment, by immediately moving them to the front of the line. That will ensure vaccination of anyone 80 or older with as small a burden on themselves as possible.

Local pharmacies, hospitals, health departments and related vaccine providers throughout East Texas may have the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine. These locations may have limited supply of the vaccine, so it is important that you call before your travel to that location. Each vaccine provider may decide to create a waiting list when they run out of vaccine. Eligibility to receive the COVID-19 vaccine is determined by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). Click here to review the full webpage of COVID-19 vaccine information issued by DSHS.

GETTING THE VACCINE

The Northeast Texas Public Health District (NET Health) says COVID-19 vaccines are available at the Majesty Event Center, located at 900 W. Bow St. in Tyler. The hours of operation are Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Anyone age 18 and over can receive either the two-dose Pfizer vaccine, the two-dose Moderna vaccine or the single J&J vaccine.

If you have recently tested positive for COVID-19, you have to wait at least 14 days before receiving your first or second vaccine. Please consult with your doctor for confirmation.

BOOSTER SHOTS

Anyone who previously received the two-dose Moderna or the two-dose Pfizer vaccine who are in one of the three categories below, booster doses are recommended for those who were vaccinated at least six months ago: 

  • people aged 65 years and older and residents of long-term care settings;   
  • people aged 18 years and older who have underlying medical conditions;   
  • people aged 18 years and older who are at increased risk because their job regularly exposes them to COVID-19 or because of living in a congregate setting.  

Individuals who received the single-dose J&J COVID-19 vaccine at least two months ago are also recommended to receive a booster dose. The CDC’s recommendations also allow for a mix-and-match approach for booster shots. People should stick with the vaccine they received initially, but the CDC conceded some individuals may need to mix-and-match due to preference or availability.  

COVID-19 booster shots are the same formulation as the current COVID-19 vaccines. However, for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine booster shot, it is half the dose of the vaccine people get for their initial series.   

“Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose,” said NET Health CEO George Roberts. “Some may prefer the vaccine type they originally received while others may prefer to get a different vaccine as their booster dose." 

If you have recently received a flu shot or a Shingles vaccine, you are advised to wait at least 14 days before receiving your first or second COVID-19 vaccine.

UT Health East Texas has also launched launch COVID-19 vaccine appointments by phone. Those who need help navigating online sign-up or who are without access to internet can now call 903-747-4VAC (4822) from 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday - Friday to get an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Those who have internet access do not need to call in and should continue to sign up directly at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/ut. New appointments will continue to open at this link as we receive more vaccine. 

The vaccines will be given at UT Health North Campus Tyler, 11937 U.S. Highway 271. Appointment time slots for this week are Monday - Saturday. Anyone wanting a vaccine must have an appointment; vaccines for walk-ins will not be available. 

There is no charge for the vaccine, but individuals are asked to bring their insurance card. During the appointment, residents will be registered, vaccinated and monitored for 15 minutes, during which time a second appointment will be scheduled.  

Vaccinations through CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System are by appointment only. Click here for more information. 

The appointments are open to all individuals 16 and older and can be scheduled online at vaccinate.christushealth.org. Individuals in need of assistance or without internet access may schedule by calling 877-335-5746.

To access the most recent COVID-19 vaccination information from Longview Regional Medical Center, click here.

Walmart and Sam's Club have released their list of East Texas locations that will administer the COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the retailer, the following locations are distributing the vaccine:

  • 1405 E. Tyler St. - Athens
  • 201 Loop 59 - Atlanta
  • 1225 E. Loop 304 - Crockett
  • 1200 W. Main St. - Gun Barrel City
  • 1311 S. Jackson St. - Jacksonville
  • 1201 Stone St. - Kilgore
  • 4006 Estes Pkwy. - Longview
  • 3812 Gilmer Rd. - Longview
  • 2440 Gilmer Rd. - Longview
  • 515 E. Loop 281 - Longview
  • 3310 N. 4th St. - Longview
  • 407 N. Brentwood - Lufkin
  • 2500 Daniel McCall Dr. - Lufkin
  • 1701 E. End Blvd. N. - Marshall
  • 800 James Bowie Dr. - New Boston 
  • 2223 S. Loop 256 - Palestine
  • 3855 Lamar Ave. - Paris
  • 1750 S. Broadway St. - Sulphur Springs
  • 4000 New Boston Rd. - Texarkana
  • 3520 Richmond Rd. - Texarkana
  • 3610 Saint Michael Dr. - Texarkana
  • 3302 Summerhill Rd. - Texarkana

You can also call your primary care physician to see if they're providing the vaccine.

PEDIATRIC DOSES

Parents and guardians of children ages 5-17, who are now eligible to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, should consult a healthcare provider if they have questions about the benefits and risks of their child(ren) receiving the COVID vaccine.

The DSHS has instructed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ship Pfizer’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine to more than 900 providers in 155 Texas counties.

“Vaccinating children between the ages of 5 and 11 helps to protect all Texans from COVID-19,” said Dr. John Hellerstedt, DSHS commissioner. “Twenty-two Texas children between the ages of 5 and 11 have died from complications of COVID-19 and 118 have been diagnosed with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children. The pediatric vaccine will further help reduce the spread of disease and prevent the rare but serious complications of COVID-19 in this age group.” 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization for the pediatric vaccine on Friday, and vaccine started arriving in Texas on Monday.

Below is a list of locations in East Texas that will be getting the pediatric vaccine in the DSHS' first allocation:

ANDERSON COUNTY

  • Brookshire's Pharmacy - 2107 S. Loop 256 in Palestine (300 doses)

ANGELINA COUNTY

  • Angelina County and Cities Health District - 503 Hill St. Ste. 100 in Lufkin (600 doses)

BOWIE COUNTY

  • Brookshire's Pharmacy - 210 N. McCoy Blvd. in New Boston (300 doses)
  • Colom and Carney Main Clinic - 5002 Cowhorn Creek Rd. in Texarkana (600 doses)
  • Super 1 Pharmacy - 2610 Richmond Rd. in Texarkana (300 doses)

CHEROKEE COUNTY

  • Family Circle of Care - 510 E. Commerce St. in Jacksonville (600 doses)
  • Cherokee County Health Department - 803 College Ave. in Jacksonville (100 doses)

GREGG COUNTY

  • Brookshire's Pharmacy - 747 US Hwy. 259 N. in Kilgore (300 doses)
  • Louis Morgan Drug No. 4 - 110 Johnston St. in Longview (300 doses)
  • Ancor Hath Center - 818 N. 4th St. in Longview (300 doses)
  • 1st Choice Pediatrics - 1205 N. 6th St. in Longview (300 doses)
  • Super 1 Pharmacy - 1217 E. Marshall Ave. in Longview (300 doses)
  • Super 1 Pharmacy - 1800 S. High St. in Longview (300 doses)
  • Brookshire's Pharmacy - 3354 Gilmer Rd. in Longview (300 doses)
  • Brookshire's Pharmacy - 200 W. US Hwy. 80 in White Oak (300 doses)

HARRISON COUNTY

  • Super 1 Pharmacy  207 E. End Blvd. in Marshall (300 doses)
  • Harrison County Health District - 805 Lindsey Dr. in Marshall (100 doses)

HENDERSON COUNTY

  • Family Circle of Care - 1001 N. Palestine St. in Athens (300 doses)
  • Brookshire's Pharmacy - 807 E. Tyler St. in Athens (300 doses)
  • Brookshire's Pharmacy - 703 Hwy. 31 E. in Chandler (300 doses)
  • Brookshire's Pharmacy - 210 S. Seven Points Dr. in Kemp (300 doses)
  • Brookshire's Pharmacy - 1200 S. 3rd St. in Mabank (300 doses)

HOPKINS COUNTY

  • Brookshire's Pharmacy - 809 Gilmer Rd. in Sulphur Springs (300 doses)

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY

  • Nacogdoches Fire and Rescue - 212 E. Pilar St. in Nacogdoches (600 doses)

POLK COUNTY

  • Livingston Pharmacy - 714 W. Church St. in Livingston (300 doses)

RAINS COUNTY

  • Brookshire's Pharmacy - 959 E. US Hwy. 69 in Emory (300 doses)

SHELBY COUNTY 

  • Aurora Concepts - 233 Hurst St. in Center (300 doses)

SMITH COUNTY

  • Brookshire's Pharmacy - 213 Doctor M Roper Pkwy. N. in Bullard (300 doses)
  • Brookshire's Pharmacy - 20100 Hwy. 155 S. in Flint (300 doses)
  • Brookshire's Pharmacy - 521 S. Main St. in Lindale (300 doses)
  • Brookshire's Pharmacy - 2734 E. 5th St. in Tyler (300 doses)
  • Brookshire's Pharmacy - 100 Rice Rd. in Tyler (300 doses)
  • Brookshire's Pharmacy - 2020 Roseland Blvd. in Tyler (300 doses)
  • Brookshire's Pharmacy - 601 Hwy. 100 N. in Whitehouse (300 doses)
  • Super 1 Pharmacy - 3828 Troup Hwy. in Tyler (300 doses)
  • Super 1 Pharmacy - 1105 E. Gentry Pkwy. in Tyler (300 doses)
  • Super 1 Pharmacy - 113 NNW Loop 323 in Tyler (300 doses)
  • Super 1 Pharmacy -  172 Centennial Pkwy. in Tyler (300 doses)
  • Fresh by Brookshire's Pharmacy - 6991 Old Jacksonville Hwy. in Tyler (300 doses)
  • CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Herrington-Ornelas HealthPark - 3593 E. Grande Blvd. in Tyler (900 doses)
  • Texas Department of State Health Services - 2521 W. Front St. in Tyler (600 doses)
  • Family Circle of Care - 2990 N. Broadway Ave. in Tyler (300 doses)
  • Family Circle of Care - 214 E. Houston St. in Tyler (300 doses)
  • NET Health - 816 N. Broadway Ave. in Tyler (300 doses)
  • UT Health Science Center at Tyler - 11937 US Hwy. 271 (300 doses)
  • CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital - 800 E. Dawson St. in Tyler (300 doses)

TITUS COUNTY

  • Titus Regional Medical Center - 2001 N. Jefferson Ave. in Mount Pleasant (600 doses)
  • Super 1 Pharmacy - 602 S. Jefferson Ave. in Mount Pleasant (300 doses)

UPSHUR COUNTY

  • Divine Grace Pharmacy - 1970 US Hwy. 259 S. in Diana (300 doses)

VAN ZANDT COUNTY

  • Brookshire's Pharmacy - 880 E. SH 243 in Canton (300 doses)
  • Brookshire's Pharmacy - 205 W. Frank St. in Grand Saline (300 doses)
  • Brookshire's Pharmacy - 706 W. Main St. in Van (300 doses)
  • Brookshire's Pharmacy -  1105 W. S. Commerce St. in Wills Point (300 doses)

WOOD COUNTY

  • Brookshire's Pharmacy - 1478 N. Beaulah St. in Hawkins (300 doses)
  • Brookshire's Pharmacy - 1224 N. Pacific St. in Mineola (300 doses)
  • Brookshire's Pharmacy - 502 E. Goode. St. in Quitman (300 doses)

The pediatric vaccine comes in a different formulation from the vaccine approved for adults, so it is important to seek out providers who have received the pediatric vaccine when getting children in this age group vaccinated. 

Most vaccine shipments are expected to arrive in the next week, and DSHS recommends making an appointment or checking with the provider before going to get vaccinated.

For a full list of vaccination providers across East Texas, click here.

WHAT TO EXPECT

The new COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC says you may have some side effects, which are normal signs your body is building protection. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.

  • Pain on the arm you got the shot
  • Swelling in the area where you got the shot
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Tiredness
  • Headache

If you have pain or discomfort, talk to your doctor about taking an over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

To reduce pain and discomfort where you got the shot: 

  • Apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area.
  • Use or exercise your arm.

To reduce discomfort from fever:

  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Dress lightly.

WHEN TO CALL THE DOCTOR 

In most cases, discomfort from fever or pain is normal. Contact your doctor or healthcare provider:

  • If the redness or tenderness where you got the shot increases after 24 hours
  • If your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days

REMEMBER

  • Side effects may feel like flu and even affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.
  • With most COVID-19 vaccines, you will need two shots in order for them to work. Get the second shot even if you have side effects after the first shot, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get a second shot.
  • It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. COVID-19 vaccines that require two shots may not protect you until a week or two after your second shot.

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. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others, stay at least 6 feet away from others, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

FACT: COVID-19 vaccines will not give you COVID-19

None of the COVID-19 vaccines approved or currently in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. The goal for each of them is to teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. 

It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.

FACT: COVID-19 vaccines will not cause you to test positive on COVID-19 viral tests

Vaccines that have been approved or are currently in clinical trials in the United States won’t cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.

If your body develops an immune response, which is the goal of vaccination, there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.

FACT: People who have gotten sick with COVID-19 may still benefit from getting vaccinated

Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, people may be advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they have been sick with COVID-19 before.

At this time, experts do not know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person. Some early evidence suggests natural immunity may not last very long.

We won’t know how long immunity produced by vaccination lasts until we have a vaccine and more data on how well it works.

RELATED: LIST: Where to get a COVID-19 test in East Texas

RELATED: What to expect after getting the COVID-19 vaccine