COVID-19 Vaccination

The Texas Department of State Health Services has designated The University of Texas at Austin (including UT Health Austin, the clinical practice of the Dell Medical School; the School of Nursing; the College of Pharmacy; the Steve Hicks School of Social Work; University Health Services; and the Office of Campus Safety) a COVID-19 Vaccination Hub to help protect the health of the greater Austin community. To learn more about COVID-19 vaccine availability or if you meet the meet the requirements of priority Phase 1A or Phase 1B and need to request a vaccination at UT Health Austin, please visit here.

Current UT Austin students, faculty, and staff who meet the requirements of priority Phase 1A or Phase 1B:

If you are interested in requesting a vaccination through UT Health Austin, please visit protect.utexas.edu/vaccine for further instruction. You should not fill out the UT Health Austin online COVID-19 Vaccination Request Form.

For our patients who are not part of priority Phase 1A or Phase 1B:

Population-wide vaccine availability will occur at a later date as determined by the Texas Department of State Health Services. We will keep you updated as we learn more about this process.

Many answers to the questions you have about the COVID-19 vaccination can be found below.

State and Local Vaccination Plans

Vaccination plans for the state of Texas can be found on the Texas Department of State Health Services website here. You can also check your local public health organization for information in your area.

The Texas Department of State Health Services has designated The University of Texas at Austin (including UT Health Austin, the clinical practice of the Dell Medical School; the School of Nursing; the College of Pharmacy; the Steve Hicks School of Social Work; University Health Services; and the Office of Campus Safety) a COVID-19 Vaccination Hub to help protect the health of the greater Austin community.

As COVID-19 vaccine is released by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), UT Health Austin, the clinical practice of the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin, is currently delivering vaccinations to patients who meet the requirements of priority Phase 1A and Phase 1B as defined by DSHS in theCovid-19 Vaccine Allocation Guiding Principles.

Priority phases will change over time, addressing patients who are at highest risk because of their age or certain health conditions first. Everyone will have access to the vaccine according to need in the coming months.

The University of Texas at Austin is receiving doses based on the Texas Department of State Health Services Vaccine Allocation.

As COVID-19 vaccine is released by the Texas Department of State Health Services, UT Health Austin, the clinical practice of the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin, will deliver vaccinations to patients who meet the requirements of priority Phase 1A and Phase 1B as defined by the Texas Department of State Health Services in theCovid-19 Vaccine Allocation Guiding Principles. To request a COVID-19 vaccination at UT Health Austin, visit here. Current UT Austin students, faculty, and staff should request a vaccination appointment through the university’s Protect Texas Together form.

At this time, due to vaccine availability and evidence, we are following the Texas Department of State Health Services guidelines for vaccination priority Categories (currently focused on Phase 1A and Phase 1B). These guidelines will change over time as healthcare providers systematically deliver vaccine to the entire community in the coming weeks and months. Please continue to refer to theUT Health Austin and Texas Department of State Health Services websites for updated vaccination criteria.

It is strongly recommended that you receive your second dose of vaccine at the same site as your first dose. If you have relocated since receiving your first dose at a location other than UT Health Austin, please fill out the UT Health Austin COVID-19 Vaccination Request Form. It is very important that you keep the vaccine card you were given when you received your first dose of COVID-19 vaccine—taking a photo of your card with your smartphone will ensure that you always have your card with you. Also, please remember that you ONLY sign up to receive a second dose of the same vaccine you received in your first dose.

For example: If you received the Pfizer vaccine for your first dose, you must receive Pfizer for your second dose. You cannot mix Pfizer and Moderna doses.

To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines, please click the Manufacturer Product Information link on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website here.

Vaccination Efficacy and Safety

No, COVID-19 vaccines do not contain the live virus. They can trigger an immune response, which is normal. This reaction may include typical body responses, such as pain at the injection site, chills, headache, fever, and muscle pain. More information can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website here.

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website here, the United States vaccine safety system ensures all vaccines are as safe as possible.

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website here, people who have experienced severe reactions to prior vaccines or injectable drugs can still get the vaccine for COVID-19, but should discuss the risks with their healthcare provider and be monitored for 30 minutes after receiving the vaccine. If you have been prescribed injectable epinephrine, please bring it with you to your appointment.

Vaccines are designed to elicit a slight immune response, so experiencing some side effects is normal. According to the Food and Drug Administration website here, the most common side effects include pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site as well as fatigue, headache, chills, muscle pain, and joint pain. Side effects may vary by person.

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website here, your body’s response to the vaccine may include a sore arm, fever, chills, headache, and muscle pain. This is a normal response of your immune system and typically goes away after 2 days. You can take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to alleviate these symptoms. If side effects persist for more than 48 hours, please contact your doctor or visit your local clinic.

You can learn more about the differences between the COVID-19 vaccines currently available and those in development by visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website here.

Getting the Vaccination

If you meet the meet the requirements of priority Phase 1A or Phase 1B, as determined by the Texas Department of State Health Services in the latest Covid-19 Vaccine Allocation Guiding Principles, and wish to request a vaccination at UT Health Austin, please visit here. Current UT Austin students, faculty, and staff should request a vaccination appointment through the university’s Protect Texas Together form.

Population-wide vaccine availability will occur at a later date as determined by the Texas Department of State Health Services. We will keep you updated as we learn more about this process. Thank you for your patience.

The number of doses depends on which vaccine you receive. Some vaccines, such as Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine, require two doses, which are administered several weeks apart. When you are vaccinated, your provider should let you know what vaccine you’re getting and what follow-up is required.

The needle used to administer the vaccine is very thin and many UT Health Austin clinicians and clinical staff who have been vaccinated report getting the vaccine is not bad at all; some even say it hurts less than getting the flu shot.

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website here, people who have had COVID-19 may still benefit from getting the vaccine. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection is possible, people may be advised to get the vaccine even if they have been sick with COVID-19 before.

Post-Vaccination

First, you should contact your healthcare provider. Then, you should visit Report an Adverse Event on the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) website and follow the instructions to fill out the VAERS online form or downloadable PDF. You may also report your reaction through V-safe. V-safe is a smartphone-based tool created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Through v-safe, you can quickly tell CDC if you have any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Information on how to register for V-safe can be found here.

Yes! While experts learn more about the protection the vaccine provides under real-life conditions, it is important that everyone continue utilizing the tools available to us that are known to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, such as frequently washing your hands, wearing a face covering, and practicing social distancing.

Continue practicing COVID-19 preventive measures, including frequently washing your hands, wearing a face covering, and practicing social distancing. Regardless of vaccine status, preventive measures should be taken as the vaccine is only one of many preventive measures.

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website here, it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. It is important you continue to frequently wash your hands, wear a face covering, and practice social distancing even after vaccination.

While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic, such as covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing your hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from others. Learn more by visiting frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccination on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website here.

Research is ongoing about how long vaccine immunity lasts. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are important aspects of COVID-19 that researchers are still learning about. We will monitor CDC research and follow their guidance in the provision of vaccines.

To explore more FAQs about the COVID-19 vaccination, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website here.

To explore more FAQs about The University of Texas at Austin’s COVID-19 vaccination plan, visit the Protect Texas Together website here.