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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 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 their headquarters, located at 815 N. Broadway Ave. in Tyler.

Anyone over the age of 18 can choose to receive either the J&J one-dose vaccine or the two-dose Pfizer vaccine.

Those between the ages of 12 and 17 will only be offered the Pfizer vaccine.  The second dose can be received at least 21 days after the first dose.

Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by their parent or their legal guardian at any of our COVID-19 vaccine clinics.

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.

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

There is no cost to receive any COVID-19 vaccine. However, NET Health would like to bill your insurance company an administrative fee for the staff and supplies needed to provide you with a COVID-19 vaccine.

After you receive your COVID vaccine, you may receive a call from (903) 954-4694. NET Health staff will ask for your health insurance card number and confirmation of your address. You will not be asked for your social security number (SSN) nor for any personal health information (PHI).

NET Health is also seeking traditional Medicare information for those that have been or will be vaccinated.  You may have opted for a replacement or advantage plan, but NET Health is required to bill the traditional red, white and blue card with the new number.

NET Health can also directly provide a mobile COVID vaccine clinic at your company, in your neighborhood, or at your community event. They request you enter your information at least two weeks before the scheduled day so staff can adequately prepare.

Click here to enter your contact information and to schedule the COVAX Team at your upcoming community event.

MOBILE VACCINE CLINICS

NET Health will offer the Pfizer vaccine, the Moderna vaccine, or the J&J vaccine at each of the below locations.

Those interested can receive the single-dose J&J vaccine, and either their first dose or their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine or the Moderna vaccine.

Appointments are not required for these mobile vaccine clinics:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 29 - Malakoff High School from 8 am. - 4 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 30 - Cayuga ISD from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 2 - Dale Chapel Church in Tyler rom 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 5 - Bullard ISD from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 6 - Winnsboro ISD from 9:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.

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 will distribute 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.

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

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER GETTING THE COVID-19 VACCINE

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 FROM THE CDC

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