HOUSTON - The state of Texas has now opened COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to everyone older than 16-years-old. Now that the state says everyone over 16-years-old can be vaccinated, you still have to make an appointment first.
One of the few exceptions to being able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine without an appointment was at the pop up COVID Vaccine Clinic at Booker T. Washington High School.
"We are here in these neighborhood initiatives in order to make sure everybody gets vaccinated. They don’t have to pre-register. They don’t have to call us," explains Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.
"We're tired of going to funerals. We want to get people vaccinated, get shots in their arms," adds Tanya Dubose with the Independence Heights Redevelopment Council.
"The time has come. It is here. What we’ve been waiting for is finally available to us all," smiles Judson Robinson with the Houston Area Urban League.
Those among the first in line at the site to receive the vaccine say they arrived early because they’re grateful the wait is over.
"Because I want to be safe," says Jacquelyn Scranton.
"We want to get the vaccine and stay safe for the family, for my co-workers," adds Marisol Grande.
Most area hospitals are still working to vaccinate those at highest risk, but you’re urged to go online and make an appointment. The Houston Health Department is also already booked for the week and expected to vaccinate 26,000 people by this weekend.
"As we have this week of Passover and Holy Week there’s an uptick. What does that mean? The numbers of COVID-19 are going up," explains Congresswoman Jackson Lee.
So to stop that trend, now that the state says you can be vaccinated, you’re urged to do so.
"You’re being given a gift, the gift of life," says Dr. Joseph Varon with UMMC United Memorial Medical Center.
"Let’s make sure we get vaccinated because we want to see the next family reunion. We want to experience holidays again with our families. We want to hold and touch each other," says Robinson.
Even once you’re registered, it could take a few days or even more than a week before you actually get an appointment.