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COVID Boosters Available

PRESS RELEASE

September 28, 2021

Houston , TX — Booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are now available at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) and 8 of our VA community outpatient clinics.

The shots are being given to Veterans and MEDVAMC employees who meet the criteria recently authorized by the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration:

  • People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot at least six months after their primary series.
  • Ages 50–64 with underlying medical conditions also should receive a booster at least six months after their primary series.
  • Ages 18–49 with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot at least six months after their primary series, based on their individual benefits and risk.
  • Ages 18-64 who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster at least six months after their primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks.

No appointment is needed to get your booster shots at the VA.  Shots will be available at the Houston VA Medical Center, Building 108A, located steps from our main entrance, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Shots are also available at the Beaumont, Conroe, Katy, Lake Jackson, Lufkin, Richmond, Texas City, and Tomball Clinics, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The booster is only for those who received the Pfizer-BioNTech shot during their primary series. It is not for those who received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. FDA and CDC continue to review data to determine whether and when a booster might be recommended for those brands.

In addition, priority will be given to those who are 65 and older, residents of long-term care facilities, and people ages 50-64 with underlying conditions. Others will be accommodated as resources permit.

As supply and capacity permits, VA will offer booster doses to all other Veterans, spouses, caregivers and CHAMPVA recipients under the authority of the SAVE LIVES Act. The law expanded VA’s authority to offer vaccine to include Veterans not traditionally eligible for Veterans Health Administration care and others, including spouses and caregivers of Veterans.

Veterans coming to the Houston VA Medical Center and outpatient clinics for other appointments can receive the booster shot at that time; a separate appointment is not required.

Flu shots are also available, and the CDC advises that people can get both the COVID-19 vaccine and flu vaccine at the same time. Veterans receiving care at VA who wish to get a booster shot can get both shots together during the same visit.

Veterans (enrolled for VA health care) can also get free/no payment flu shots at Walgreens, CVS, Costco, Kroger, and Walmart pharmacies and VA community urgent care clinics and pharmacies. No appointment or referral is required. Veterans should tell community providers that they are an eligible Veteran enrolled with the VA and show a valid government-issued identification card.

VA is also continuing to reach out to Veterans who have not yet been vaccinated. Even without a booster, COVID-19 vaccination offers excellent protection and makes it 10 times less likely to be hospitalized or die from COVID-19.

Visit VA’s Questions webpage for questions and answers regarding COVID-19 vaccine.

 

Media contacts

Maureen Dyman, Communications Director

713-591-2427

vhahoupublicaffairs@va.gov

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