May 12, 2021
At Texas Children’s Health Plan, the safety and health of our members are our top priorities. We are proud to be your choice for care and thank you for being part of our family.
On May 10, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the authorization for Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to include children 12 to 15 years old. On May 12th, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) gave approval and made recommendations to safely administer the vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is now approved for ages 12 and older. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines continue to be approved for those 18 and older.
You may get a call from Texas Children’s Health Plan to set up your appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. You can also click here to register for a COVID-19 vaccine. After you complete the registration form, you will receive an email from Texas Children’s when a vaccine is available for you.
Alternatively, you can check the COVID-19 Vaccination Hub Providers page, the Texas Public Health Vaccine Scheduler, and the Texas COVID-19 Vaccine Availability map to find vaccination locations near you and learn how to register.
No matter where you live, we urge you to register for a COVID-19 vaccine through any of the booking systems around the state that works best for you.
Please continue to be safe during the pandemic: wear a mask, wash your hands often, social distance, stay home if you are sick and avoid large crowds.
For detailed information about COVID-19 vaccine types, effectiveness and how the vaccine works, visit https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/coronavirus/immunize/vaccine-faqs.aspx
See below for a list of frequently asked questions. The information about COVID-19 changes quickly and this page will be updated with the latest information.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is the COVID-19 vaccine a covered benefit under CHIP/Medicaid?
- Yes, it is.
- How can my child receive the vaccine?
- If your child is eligible to get the vaccine, we will contact eligible members to schedule an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. You can also click here to register online for a COVID-19 vaccine.
- Which vaccine are you administering to members?
- Currently, we will offer the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Vaccines are allocated by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and members will receive one of these three products.
- As a parent or caretaker, will I also be eligible to receive the vaccine?
- Texas Children’s Health Plan members and family members who meet the State’s vaccination criteria can now receive the vaccine at Texas Children’s locations. If you plan to receive your vaccine from a different provider, please make sure to check with that provider before heading to that location.
- Can my child’s siblings also receive the vaccine?
- Texas Children’s Health Plan members and family members who meet the State’s vaccination criteria can now receive the vaccine at Texas Children’s locations. If you plan for them to receive their vaccine from a different provider, please make sure to check with that provider before heading to that location.
- Can my child receive the vaccine if they have symptoms of COVID-19?
- If your child has symptoms of COVID-19 or is considered to be in close contact with someone with COVID-19, vaccination should be postponed until they have recovered and criteria is met for them to stop quarantine.
- Should my child receive the vaccine if they have already had COVID-19?
- Yes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccination regardless of history of prior infection.
- When will children younger than 16 be able to receive the vaccine?
- On May 10, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the authorization for Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to include children 12 to 15 years old. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines continue to be approved for those 18 and older.
- Which vaccines are currently available?
- There are currently three vaccines that have received authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use. The first, produced by Pfizer and BioNTech, is authorized for people age 12 and older. The other two, produced by Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, are authorized for those 18 and older.
- What is in the vaccines?
- The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use messenger RNA (mRNA) to teach the immune system how to create antibodies against the virus that causes COVID-19, so the virus can’t enter your cells. This technology has been used before to create vaccines against SARS, which is how these vaccines were able to be developed and moved into clinical trials so quickly. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, known as JNJ-78436735 or Ad26.COV2.S, is an adenovirus type 26 modified to produce the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein. This adenovirus vaccine is used as a single intramuscular injection, and when it enters a cell it produces the vaccine protein but cannot replicate inside the cell or cause illness.
- Do the vaccines work?
- Efficacy of two doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine is 95%. This means that, in clinical trials, the vaccine prevented approximately 95% of vaccinated people from getting COVID-19, and only approximately 5% of vaccinated people developed COVID-19 disease. The efficacy of two doses of the Moderna vaccine is 94.1%. In the U.S., the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was 72% protective. Importantly, the vaccine was shown to be 85% protective against severe disease.
- Are they safe?
- COVID-19 vaccines have been evaluated in tens of thousands of volunteers during clinical trials and are only authorized for use if they are found to be safe. Even though no safety issues were found, the CDC and other federal partners will continue to monitor the COVID-19 vaccines. The US vaccine safety system is already strong, and new safety systems have been added for COVID-19 vaccines.
- Will I have side effects from the vaccine?
- From initial data, we know mild side effects are common. If you’re vaccinated, you should expect some side effects, particularly after the second dose. These side effects are common and may occur after any vaccine. Although uncomfortable, these side effects are a sign that your immune system is responding to the vaccine and is learning to recognize the virus for the future. The short-term safety of these vaccines is clear.
- Can a COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?
- No. The vaccine does not contain a live virus that can replicate inside of your body. So, the vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.
- How long will the vaccines work?
- We don’t know yet. As clinical trials continue, we’ll know more about how long immunity lasts and if more doses will be necessary. Please stay safe during the pandemic: wear a mask, wash your hands often, social distance, stay home if you are sick and avoid large crowds.
- What can I do if my child is not feeling well?
- If your child is experiencing a cough or fever, or if you have questions about COVID-19, please schedule an appointment with your health care provider.
- COVID-19 vaccines: Answering the big questions (December 14, 2020)
- Pregnancy, breastfeeding and the COVID-19 vaccine (December 23, 2020)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
In the News
- When could children start getting the COVID-19 vaccine? – CBS 11 KHOU
- The vaccine arsenal that will win the war on COVID – New York Magazine
- “We are fighting back”: Texas health care workers receiving vaccines look forward to the end of a tragic year – Texas Tribune
- The 4 major unknowns of how vaccines will affect the COVID-19 pandemic – VOX
- In depth: Peter Hotez on Texas’ vaccine rollout, junk science and the risk of a new virus ‘type’ – Texas Standard
- Track the Vax: Now that we have vaccines, how do we persuade skeptics to get inoculated? – Everyday Health
- 4 Montgomery County health care providers among first in Texas to receive COVID-19 vaccines – Community Impact
- Más de 1,600 trabajadores de la salud son vacunados contra el coronavirus en el Texas Children's Hospital – Univision
- Editorial: Here's how to win Black, Latino trust in the COVID-19 vaccine – Houston Chronicle
- Dr. Peter Hotez talks about the vaccine roll-out – FOX 26 KRIV
- How experts say the federal government can speed up COVID-19 vaccinations – ABC News