The Houston Health Department announced Friday afternoon that it was opening 1,600 new COVID-19 vaccination appointment slots for next week, with Moderna vaccine doses to be administered starting Monday at Houston ISD's Delmar Stadium at 2020 Mangum Rd.
Those slots were filled within approximately five minutes, according to a subsequent news release from the city.
"More appointment opportunities will be announced as supply increases," the health department said.
People who registered for one of the new appointment slots and received a QR code confirmation without a date and time to be vaccinated will be contacted starting Saturday to schedule a date and time, according to the health department.
Residents who are included in the Phase 1A or 1B priority groups as outlined by the Texas Department of State Health Services, and who have not yet received their first vaccine dose, were eligible to register online at houstonemergency.org/covid19.
Those included in Phase 1A are healthcare workers, pharmacy workers, residents and staff of long-term care facilities, first responders and school nurses. The Phase 1B group includes adults over age 65 as well as people who are at least 16 and have at least one chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe illness or death, such as cancer, kidney disease, heart conditions, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease and Type 2 diabetes.
Residents who show up to the vaccination site without confirmed appointments will be turned away, according to the health department. Appointments are only confirmed upon receipt of an email or text message, and confirmation numbers will be verified at the vaccination site.
The health department said it received 9,000 doses Friday and, in addition to administering them at Delmar Stadium next week, it will vaccinate approximately 900 people who were turned away Saturday at Minute Maid Park. The health department also said it will fulfill existing appointments at Bayou City Event Center along with its health centers and multi-service centers. The department also will transfer 800 doses to other providers.
The health department said it plans to announce new appointment opportunities on a weekly basis, based on supply. Appointments are based on vaccine availability and may be adjusted according to supply, according to the city.
The city said those who have received their first dose of vaccine through the health department will be contacted about scheduling their second dose before the recommended due date, which for the Moderna vaccine is 28 days after receiving the first dose.
"We understand the anxiety about the second dose and appreciate everyone’s patience as we continue working together to achieve the largest mass vaccination effort ever,” Stephen Williams, director of the health department, said in a news release. "Please be assured that if you were vaccinated by the Houston Health Department, we will reach out to you within the appropriate timeframe to schedule your second dose."