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What you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine in El Paso

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Updated 12:45 p.m. May 4: Revised with additional information.

Since Texas expanded vaccine eligibility in late March to anyone age 16 and older, demand for the vaccine has slowed. Many cities, including El Paso, are abandoning waiting lists. Now people can schedule appointments or even visit a walk-up vaccine site.

About 50% of Texas adults had received at least one dose of the vaccine as of May 2, according to the state’s dashboard. In El Paso County, more than 411,400 people had received an initial dose, or 63% of the population age 16 and older.

Here’s what to know about getting vaccinated in El Paso:

Who is giving out COVID-19 vaccines?

The state sends doses to mass vaccination hubs as well as doctor’s offices, community health clinics and pharmacies.

El Paso’s hubs are run by the University Medical Center of El Paso and the city of El Paso.

You can find smaller vaccine providers here.

The federal government also sends doses directly to select CVS, Walgreens, Walmart and Sam’s Clubs stores, as well as to the El Paso Veterans Affairs Health Care System.

How do I schedule a first-dose vaccine appointment?

UMC offers walk-up vaccinations for anyone 16 and older at the El Paso County Coliseum, 4100 E. Paisano Drive, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

You can also schedule an appointment through UMC’s online portal. You can make an appointment by phone from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays by calling 915-975-8901.

The city of El Paso’s walk-up vaccination site at the Judson F. Williams Convention Center, 1 Civic Center Plaza, is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

You can schedule an appointment with the city Paso through its online portal or by calling 915-212-6843.

The Texas Department of Emergency Management and Texas Military Department offer walk-up vaccinations for anyone 16 and older at the Eastside Sports Complex, 14380 Montwood Drive, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

The city of Socorro appointment scheduler can be accessed online, or by calling 915-858-2915. Appointments are limited.

You can schedule an appointment with Immunize El Paso online, or by calling 915-533-3414.

CVS appointments can be made online or by calling 800-746-7287. Walmart and Sam’s Club appointments are made online, as are those at Walgreens.

TRICARE beneficiaries can schedule an appointment at William Beaumont Army Medical Center here, or call 915-742-2273.

The city of El Paso is also having pop-up vaccine clinics for people 18 and older on the following days:

  • Thursday, May 6: Cleveland Square Park, 510 N. Santa Fe St. from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, May 7: Fabens High School, 601 NE G Ave. from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 8: Valle Bajo Recreation Center, 7380 Alameda Ave. from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Who are providers vaccinating?

The Pfizer vaccine is approved for use in people age 16 and up, and the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are available for those 18 and older.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses given between 21 to 28 days apart, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single dose.

The Texas Department of State Health Services advised providers on April 23 to resume administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after its use was briefly paused.

Is the vaccine free?

The vaccine is free, although providers can charge a fee for administering the shot. Insurance covers this fee. Uninsured people cannot be charged this fee and providers instead will be reimbursed by the federal government.

How many people need to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity?

El Paso health experts say 75% to 85% of the population needs to be fully vaccinated to reach herd immunity and stop the virus from circulating.

Where can I find more information about the vaccine?

The city’s COVID-19 vaccine website includes answers to frequently asked questions. People can also call the city COVID-19 hotline at 915-212-6843.

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Molly Smith

Molly Smith has been a reporter for the El Paso Times and The (McAllen) Monitor. She’s covered education, criminal justice and local government. A Seattle native, she’s lived in Texas since 2014, with stops in Austin, the Rio Grande Valley and now El Paso. She can be reached at mksmith@elpasomatters.org or 915-247-8857.

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