COVID-19 Vaccine

Texas COVID-19 Vaccine Key Messages


  • Multiple vaccines are being developed and manufactured in the United States, and the first vaccines could be cleared for use by the FDA in the coming weeks, based on scientific evidence about their safety and effectiveness gathered through large clinical trials.
  • Once one or more vaccines are authorized, there will be a limited supply at first as manufacturing and distribution ramps up.
  • Initial doses will likely be allocated for critical populations, including health care workers, other essential workers, and people more likely to develop severe disease, like older adults and those with underlying health conditions.
  • As vaccine availability increases in 2021, people will be able to get vaccinated at doctor’s offices, pharmacies, hospitals and other “usual” sites.
  • Even when vaccines are available, people will need to take precautions like physical distancing and wearing a mask to help stop the spread of COVID-19 as people get vaccinated and we learn more about the immunity produced by the vaccines.

Vaccine Development

  • There are currently four vaccine candidates in phase 3 clinical trials in the United States. The manufacturers are AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer.
  • Those from Moderna and Pfizer are likely to be the first ready for use.
  • Pfizer and Moderna have announced preliminary results that suggest their vaccines are 90 percent or more effective. Additional safety data is required before FDA can authorize it.
  • Each vaccine candidate has different storage and dosage requirements:
Vaccine Candidate Shipping & Storage Temperatures Dose & Interval
Pfizer Ultra-cold frozen (-70oC)
5 days refrigerated
Two doses, 
three weeks apart
Moderna Therapeutics Frozen
7 days refrigerated
Two doses, 
four weeks apart
Johnson & Johnson Frozen (-20oC)
3 months refrigerated
Single dose
AstraZeneca Refrigerated Two doses, 
four weeks apart
  • The vaccines are not interchangeable. For two-dose vaccines, a person must receive two doses of the same vaccine to ensure maximum effectiveness.
  • Initial vaccines will likely be authorized for use in adults.
  • The Food and Drug Administration is expected to issue Emergency Use Authorizations for one or more COVID-19 vaccines once there is enough scientific information that the FDA can determine “that the vaccine’s benefits outweigh its risks based on data from at least one well-designed Phase 3 clinical trial that demonstrates the vaccine’s safety and efficacy in a clear and compelling manner.”
  • Following the authorization by the FDA, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will make recommendations about who should receive the vaccine.

Vaccine Distribution

  • Health care providers must enroll as a COVID-19 vaccine provider to be eligible to receive the vaccine. As of Sept. 16, more than 3,000 providers in more than 200 Texas counties have enrolled.
  • Vaccine will be provided at no cost by the CDC and shipped directly to vaccine providers along with supplies needed to administer it, such as syringes, needles, etc.
  • Each vaccine recipient will receive a card with information about the vaccine they received, and doses administered will be recorded in ImmTrac2, the state immunization registry, so that providers and recipients can ensure they receive the correct second dose.
  • While the vaccine supply is limited, a Texas Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel will meet regularly to make recommendations to the Commissioner of Health about how best to allocate the vaccine in Texas.
  • Texas is actively working to ensure that every community across the state has access to COVID-19 vaccines, once they become available.

Plans & Reports:  View the COVID-19 Vaccine Implementation Plan.

Health Care Providers

How to Become a COVID-19 Vaccinator

Health Care Providers: More about DSHS Provider Information for the COVID Vaccine.


COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall - Español

Lo que sabemos sobre la vacuna del coronavirus.

COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall - English

Town Hall will be held on December 10, 2020 at 7pm. Video will be posted when available.