Frequently asked questions
Who can get the vaccine now?
Front-line healthcare workers and residents at long-term care facilities (called Phase 1A) plus people over 65 or with a chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 (called Phase 1B) are currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Phase 1B recipients include:
People 65 years of age and older
People 16 years of age and older with at least one chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19, such as but not limited to:
Chronic kidney disease
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies
Solid organ transplantation
Obesity and severe obesity (body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or higher)
Sickle cell disease
Type 2 diabetes mellitus
This list does not necessarily indicate the order of vaccination.
How are the COVID-19 vaccines different from other vaccines?
Different types of vaccines work in different ways to offer protection. But every type of vaccine works by teaching our bodies how to make cells that trigger an immune response. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies.
Currently, there are three main types of COVID-19 vaccines that are or soon will be undergoing large-scale (Phase 3) clinical trials in the United States:
Protein subunit vaccines
COVID-19 vaccines do not use the live virus and cannot give you COVID-19. The vaccine does not alter your DNA. COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an immune response without having to experience sickness.
Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work on the Understanding How COVID-19 Vaccines Work section of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
Why should I take the COVID-19 vaccine?
Getting this vaccine once it is available to you represents one step that you can take to get the Texas economy, and our day-to-day lives, back to normal.
How do I know whether the COVID-19 vaccine is safe?
Safety is a top priority while federal partners work to make COVID-19 vaccines available. The new COVID-19 vaccines have been evaluated in tens of thousands of volunteers during clinical trials. The vaccines are only authorized for use if they are found to be safe.
Even though they found no safety issues during the clinical trials, CDC and other federal partners will continue to monitor the new vaccines. They watch out for serious side effects (or “adverse events”) using vaccine safety monitoring systems, like the new V-safe After Vaccination Health Checker app.
For the most up-to-date information, see the Vaccine Safety section of the CDC website.
To learn about CDC’s new vaccine safety monitoring system, see the V-safe After Vaccination Health Checker section of the CDC website.
I have a medical condition, but I don’t see it listed under 1B. Do I qualify for the vaccine?
You might qualify, but you need to talk your provider to confirm. The list of medical conditions under 1B does not include every condition that puts you at greater risk for getting very sick with COVID-19. That list would be long, and we have listed the most common conditions. The CDC has a longer list that can be found on their People with Certain Medical Conditions page.