December 16: The CDC recommends individuals receive an mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) COVID-19 vaccine over Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine. For those that are allergic to the mRNA or prefer the J&J, the vaccine will be available at Metro Health pop-up clinics. Read the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) updated COVID-19 vaccine recommendations.
December 13: On November 24, 2021, the World Health Organization reported the first detected cases of the Omicron variant in South Africa and classified it as a variant of concern. On December 13, Metro Health reported two cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant have been detected in Bexar County through genome testing conducted by UT Health San Antonio.
San Antonio Metro Health and local agencies are monitoring this situation closely and conducting ongoing genomic surveillance in Bexar County. Find more information about the Omicron variant.
November 19: The CDC expanded recommendations for booster shots to include all adults ages 18 years and older who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine at least six months after their second dose. For more information, visit the CDC website.
On October 21, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended the use of booster shots for recipients of Moderna and J&J’s COVID-19 vaccines.
People in the following groups are eligible to receive a Pfizer or Moderna booster shot at least 6 months after completion of their primary series:
Additionally, booster shots are recommended for everyone 18 and older at least 2 months after receiving their J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. Today’s recommendations mean everyone in these groups, regardless of what vaccine they initially received, are eligible to get a COVID-19 booster shot.
Data show that administration of a booster shot may result in increases in antibody levels and may result in increased effectiveness compared to primary vaccination. For example, people who were not fully vaccinated were over 10 times more likely to be hospitalized and 11 times more likely to die compared with fully vaccinated people.
Starting September 29, CDC recommends that the following groups should receive a booster shot of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after completing their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series (i.e., the first 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine):
- people aged 65 years and older
- residents aged 18 years and older in long-term care settings
- people aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions
CDC also recommends that the following groups may receive a booster shot of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after completing their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks:
- people aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions
- people aged 18–64 years at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting
The FDA and CDC will continue to evaluate new data and may recommend booster shots for other populations and vaccine recipients soon. Please see Booster Vaccination FAQ for more information on eligibility.
As of Friday, August 13, 2021, people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised are eligible for a third dose of an mRNA vaccine. This includes people who have:
- been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
- received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
- advanced or untreated HIV infection
- active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response
The treating healthcare provider for the above conditions is best situated to determine eligibility and optimal timing in relation to other therapies, and to provide the third dose. Read the CDC's recommendations about the third dose.
As of Wednesday, May 12, 2021, everyone age 12 and older is now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Texas. The state’s Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel recommended opening vaccination to everyone who falls under the current Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorizations. All vaccines are authorized for people age 18 and older. The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for people 12 and older.
All COVID-19 vaccines are available at no cost, and no proof of citizenship is needed.
DSHS has directed vaccine providers to prioritize people 80 years old or older when scheduling appointments and accommodate anyone in that age group who presents for vaccination, whether or not they have an appointment, by immediately moving them to the front of the line. That will ensure vaccination of anyone 80 or older with as small a burden on themselves as possible.
COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. It typically takes two weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19. That means it is possible a person could still get COVID-19 before or just after vaccination and then get sick because the vaccine did not have enough time to provide protection.
People are considered fully protected two weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.