Please note the steps outlined below are for Harris County Public Health (HCPH) only. Steps for other providers may differ.
Step 1. What You Need to Know
In most situations, Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are preferred over the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for primary and booster vaccination due to the risk of rare, but serious adverse events.
- The Moderna vaccine can be provided to individuals 6 months through 5 years old or to individuals 18 years and older. Moderna is administered as a 2-dose primary series for most people or a 3-dose primary series for people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised.
- The Pfizer vaccine can be provided to individuals 6 months or older. Pfizer is administered as a 2-dose primary series for most people or a 3-dose primary series for people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised. For children 6 months through 4 years old the Pfizer vaccine is administered as a 3-dose primary series.
- The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is administered as a single primary dose for most people, or a single primary dose followed by 1 additional mRNA dose for people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised.
- All vaccines through HCPH are free of charge.
Step 2. Making An Appointment
- Click on the Register Now link to go to HCPH's COVID-19 vaccine app.
- Follow the instructions on the app to register for the vaccine.
- Once your appointment is scheduled, you will receive a confirmation including QR code. You must bring your QR code with you to the scheduled appointment.
Step 3. Receiving Your Vaccine
If you do not have transportation for your vaccination appointment, please contact the HCPH Vaccine Hotline at 832-927-8787.
- When arriving to your scheduled appointment...
- Ensure you have your QR code for staff to scan. This can be printed out or a screenshot from your confirmation email.
- Follow signs and directions posted to navigate the vaccination site.
- If, for whatever reason, you are unable to make your appointment and must cancel, you will need to complete the registration process again. Canceled appointments will not be rescheduled.
Step 4. Scheduling Your Second Dose
Individuals can sign up and schedule instantly. Residents are encouraged to plan for their 2nd dose 3 to 8 weeks after their 1st dose. Learn more here.
Upon completion of your scheduled first dose, you will receive a notification through text and/or email to schedule your 2nd dose closer to the date of your 2nd appointment. If there is no appointment availability, please continue to check the link daily for open appointments until you can sign up.
Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 Vaccination Schedule
The recommended interval between the 1st and 2nd dose:
- 8-week consideration for Pfizer or Moderna:
- For people ages 6 months to 64 years old, and especially males ages 12 through 39 years old
- A longer time
between the 1st and 2nd doses may increase how much protection the
vaccines offer, and further minimize the rare risk of heart problems,
including myocarditis and pericarditis
- 3-weeks for Pfizer or 4-weeks for Moderna:
- For people ages 65 and older
- For adults ages 6 months and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised
Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccination Schedule
The recommended interval between a single primary dose of Johnson & Johnson and an mRNA 2nd dose
- 4 weeks for people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised
Step 5. Scheduling Your Booster Dose
A booster dose is given when the immune response to an initial vaccine series has likely to have decreased over time.
1st Booster Dose:
All people ages 5 years and older should receive the 1st booster dose of any FDA-authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine. The interval for the 1st booster dose should follow the interval recommended for the primary series you received. See recommendations below of when you should receive your 1st booster dose:
- 5 months after completing a 2-dose primary series of Pfizer or Moderna
- 3 months after completing a 3-dose primary series of Pfizer or Moderna for people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised
- 2 months after completing a single primary dose of Janssen
- 2 months after completing the 2nd (additional) mRNA dose for individuals who are moderately or severely immunocompromised.
2nd Booster Dose:
Residents age 50 and older can get the 2nd COVID-19 booster dose. There are residents in certain groups or situations who can get a 2nd COVID-19 booster according to recent CDC guidance, but HCPH recommends you work with your healthcare provider to help make the best decision for your health situation.
For more information about COVID-19 Vaccine 2nd Booster Doses and to see if you’re eligible, please visit the CDC website.