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COVID-19 Tracker

COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker
Vaccines administered by the St. Joseph Health system

COVID-19 Vaccine Hub in Brazos County

Information as of March 5, 2021

COVID-19 has shown the world how important vaccines are to public health. Individuals who are vaccinated are better protected than those who are not, and vaccination remains our strongest defense against the COVID-19 virus. The CDC and the FDA have both concluded the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death. 

We encourage you and your family and friends to get vaccinated. An immunized community is a healthier community.  Individuals who are interested in getting vaccinated have several options:

  • If you are a St. Joseph Medical Group patient, contact your primary care physician’s office to set up an appointment for the vaccine at their clinic.
  • If you are not a St. Joseph Medical Group patient but would like to receive the vaccine at one of our St. Joseph and Texas A&M Health Network primary care locations, you can establish care with a primary care provider by calling 979-774-2121.
  • If you are not a patient and already have a primary care provider, we recommend you contact your physician directly.
  • Finally, there are a number of pharmacies across the Brazos Valley that offer the vaccine. A full list can be found by visiting the Brazos County Health District’s website. These include:
    • CVS
    • Kroger
    • H-E-B
    • Walmart
    • Walgreens

Pediatric Vaccination Options

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, everyone age 12 and older is now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Texas. For more information on scheduling a vaccine for your child, call their St. Joseph and Texas A&M Health Network pediatrician.


Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19

General FAQs About the COVID-19 Vaccine
What COVID-19 vaccines are available?

Currently, three vaccines have been authorized by the FDA based on clinical testing, developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. Availability may determine which of the vaccines you receive.

How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?

The messenger RNA (mRNA) in the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines teach your body how to make a harmless spike protein, which mimics the outside of a SARS-COV-2 particle. While they are harmless, your body still mounts an immune response and develops antibodies to eliminate this specific protein. That way, if you are exposed in the future to COVID-19, your body already knows how to neutralize the virus.

There is no risk of developing COVID-19 from this vaccine because it doesn’t contain any live virus.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine works similarly. However, instead of using mRNA as a recipe for the harmless spike protein, it uses a virus called adenovirus type 26 (Ad26). Typically, Ad26 causes the common cold, but the form of Ad26 contained in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is an inactive version, meaning it can not make you sick.

Why should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Getting vaccinated is one of many steps you can take to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Protection from COVID-19 is critically important because, for some people, it can cause severe illness or death. Even if you’re young and healthy, there is no telling how COVID-19 may affect you. Additionally, mass vaccinations are the most effective way to end epidemics.

How much does it cost to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccine is free, regardless of insurance status. However, some facilities may charge an administration fee of about $15, but insurance plans typically cover this.

If I’m young and generally healthy, do I need to get the vaccine?

It's true that most people who are young and healthy have survived COVID-19, but it's also true that the disease can damage the lungs, heart, and brain. Because this disease is so new, we don't know what kind of long-term health problems it can cause.

Another reason to get the vaccine is that it protects those around you. Even if you can quickly recover from COVID-19, someone that you could potentially infect may not. This makes vaccines important in protecting populations — not just individuals.

If I already had COVID-19, should I still get the vaccine?

People who have had the disease in the past are advised to get a vaccine when it's available to them. Currently, experts don't know how long someone is protected from getting infected again after recovering from COVID-19. The time period of natural immunity can vary from person to person, but it's possible that it doesn't last very long.

The CDC is still trying to learn more about natural immunity and will keep the public informed as new information comes to light.

How long should I wait to get the vaccine after recovering from COVID-19?

While there are no official guidelines for this scenario, our doctors recommend waiting a few weeks to get the vaccine after recovering from COVID-19. This is because your immune system is weakened after eradicating a disease. While it is completely safe to get the vaccine with a weaker immune system, it may result in a weakened immune response, and the vaccine won’t be as effective.

Will the vaccine help us achieve herd immunity?

Yes, but we currently do not know how long it will take to reach it. More contagious viruses require a larger percentage of the population to be vaccinated before herd immunity sets in. Experts predict that we may achieve herd immunity when about 70% of the population is vaccinated.

When can we return to normal life?

We can't expect for life to return to how it was before COVID-19 until around 70% of the population is immune. By then, we will have achieved herd immunity, which is the point at which the disease will no longer be likely to spread. Because companies are still working to make the vaccines available in phases, it will take time to get to that point. With companies producing and distributing vaccines to select groups set by the Texas state government, we can hopefully expect more vaccinations to be available to the public soon.

Where can I get more information about the COVID-19 vaccine?

For additional information on COVID-19 and the vaccine approval process, we recommend reviewing the FAQs on the CDC website and FDA website.

FAQs About COVID-19 Vaccine Safety & Efficacy
Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?

At St. Joseph Health, safety is our highest priority, and we only administer vaccines that are recommended by the FDA as safe and effective.

Was the development of the COVID-19 vaccine rushed?

While the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines do use new technology and were developed quickly, the use of mRNA in these vaccines is actually a process that researchers have been working on for over 30 years. These vaccines have gone through rigorous clinical trials and have been thoroughly scrutinized by the FDA before being deemed safe and effective for emergency use.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses viral vector technology, which scientists have been studying since the 1970s. This technology also formed the basis of the Ebola vaccines during recent outbreaks in Africa. Much like the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been rigorously studied and thoroughly scrutinized by the FDA.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women?

Currently, there is no data for how the vaccines affect pregnant women, as they weren’t included in the clinical trials. According to our doctors, there is no reason why it would be unsafe for a pregnant woman to get the vaccine, and pregnancy is a risk factor for developing more severe COVID-19 symptoms. However, choosing to get vaccinated is an individual decision that you should make when considering the potential risks and benefits.

The vaccine poses no threat to a baby who is breastfeeding. These vaccinations do not contain a live virus, so there is nothing that a mother could pass to her child through breast milk. In fact, once a mother develops antibodies from the vaccine, she can pass these onto her child through breastfeeding, which provides her baby with some protection against COVID-19.

Is it safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine while on an immunosuppressant?

Yes, it is safe for someone on immunosuppressants to get the COVID-19 vaccine, as it does not contain any live virus. However, these medications weaken the immune response, and so people on these medications might not develop as much protection against COVID-19 as someone not on immunosuppressants.

How effective is the COVID-19 vaccine?

Both the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine have efficacy rates of about 95%, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has an efficacy rate of 66.3%. While it is still possible to develop COVID-19 after receiving one or both doses of the vaccine, it is unlikely that you will notice any severe symptoms.

Which vaccine is best for preventing COVID-19?

According to the FDA, we should not draw comparisons between the vaccines unless they are tested against one another in a head-to-head clinical trial. However, all approved vaccines were at least 50% more effective than the placebo at preventing COVID-19, which is consistent with FDA recommendations.

Why do some of the COVID-19 vaccines require two doses?

Some vaccines require two inoculations over a period of time because the combination can create a stronger immune response in the recipient. The first round gives a small dose that your immune system can become familiar with, and the second one delivers a little more of the virus to train your immune system fully.

Is the first dose of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines at all effective at preventing COVID-19?

Yes, the first dose of the vaccine is somewhat effective at preventing COVID-19. According to data from the manufacturers, the Pfizer vaccine is about 52% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infections after one dose, and the Moderna vaccine is about 80% effective.

However, it takes time for these initial immune responses to take effect after the first dose. Take extra caution the first week or two after getting the vaccine, as your body has yet to develop an effective response.

When do I need to get my second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?

If you received the Pfizer vaccine, you should get your second dose anywhere between 21-42 days after your initial dose, while the ideal window for the Moderna vaccine is 28-42 days. The medical professional administering your first dose will provide more information.

Do I have to wear a mask after getting the COVID-19 vaccine?

Even after you get vaccinated, you should continue wearing a mask. The first reason for this is because the vaccines that are currently approved for emergency use by the FDA require two doses given 3-4 weeks apart. Your body needs this time to build an immune response.

Another reason is that no vaccine is 100% effective at preventing COVID-19. People who get the vaccine are much less likely to get the disease (and if they do, they have a much lower risk of developing severe symptoms), but they can still carry and spread the disease to more vulnerable populations.

Vaccines are just one tool in our toolkit to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is important that we continue to follow CDC guidelines for the pandemic, even after getting one or both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Please remember to wash your hands regularly, always wear face coverings in public, and follow social distancing guidelines and government quarantine directives in your area.

FAQs About COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution & Administration
When will the COVID-19 vaccine be available?

Vaccines to protect against COVID-19 are available now. The FDA has issued Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) for the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. Distribution of the vaccine is determined by state and local health departments, and some St. Luke’s Health facilities with supply of the vaccine are participating in the administration of COVID-19 vaccines according to that distribution plan.

When can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The Texas Department of State Health Services has announced that everyone age 12 and older is now eligible to receive the vaccine.

How is the COVID-19 vaccine given?

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses, administered three or four weeks apart. When a vaccine is given, information will be provided about when to get the second.

Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

If you qualify for the current phase of distribution, please refer to the Texas COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Locations map for providers in your area. It is important to contact facilities prior to showing up to ensure they have vaccines available.

What does it mean to be a state-designated vaccination hub?

In an effort to provide more access to the vaccine, the state of Texas designated vaccination hubs in areas that are experiencing high case numbers. These hubs have a larger supply of vaccines than a typical hospital, and their registration processes are simple to maneuver.

What side effects should I anticipate when getting vaccinated?

Vaccine recipients may experience pain at the injection site, headache, low-grade fever, fatigue, and soreness. Do not worry if you experience these—they are signs that your immune system is developing antibodies to protect you from COVID-19.

Will there be enough vaccines for everyone who wants one?

The Texas Department of State Health Services has announced that everyone age 12 and older is now eligible to receive the vaccine.

COVID-19 Healthy Resources