COVID-19 vaccine availability


When Can I Receive the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Valley Regional Medical Center is distributing COVID-19 vaccines to its frontline health care colleagues according to the tiering system developed by federal officials. The vaccines that Valley Regional Medical Center, as well as all other healthcare systems, are receiving are distributed by the State of Texas, through the Texas Department of Health.

Due to the fact that only two vaccines have been approved for emergency use in the United States, the supply is very limited. Valley Regional Medical Center is currently only receiving enough vaccines to vaccinate our colleagues. We do not yet have access to vaccine doses for the public.

The Cameron County Department of Public Health is a vaccine hub that organizes mass vaccination points. For information about upcoming vaccination events, please visit their website or Facebook page:

We sincerely hope that shortly after frontline healthcare colleagues receive their second doses of the vaccine, we will receive supplies from the state that will enable us to offer the vaccine to our patients and the public by appointment.

Some providers are already offering appointments to members of the public who fall into the Tier 1B and 1C sections – those who are 65 or older, are frontline essential workers, or who have high-risk medical conditions. If you fall into one of those categories and want to know which providers are able to offer the vaccine to you, resources can be found at Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (state.tx.us).

At Valley Regional Medical Center, we know there are many people who are anxious about the pandemic and are eager to receive their two doses of the vaccine. We appreciate your patience as we work toward our goal of being able to offer vaccines to the general public in the near future.

COVID-19 vaccination near you

Please visit vaccines.gov or call 1-800-232-0233 to learn when and where you can get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Facts about COVID-19 vaccines

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

  • FACT: COVID-19 vaccines have undergone and will continue to undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history
  • FACT: COVID-19 vaccines will not give you COVID-19
  • FACT: Getting vaccinated can help prevent serious illness
  • FACT: People who have gotten sick with COVID-19 may still benefit from getting vaccinated
  • FACT: Receiving an mRNA vaccine will not alter your DNA

See the CDC’s resource page for extensive information about common myths and the facts regarding COVID-19 vaccination.

Why should I get vaccinated?

Immunization helps save millions of lives every year. Whereas most medicines treat or cure diseases, vaccines can help prevent them by working with your body’s natural defenses to build protection. When you receive a vaccine, your immune system responds.

Vaccines prevent more than 20 life-threatening diseases, and help people of all ages live longer, healthier lives. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that globally, immunization currently prevents between 2 and 3 million deaths every year from diseases like diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, influenza and measles.

COVID-19 vaccines work with your immune system so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Other steps, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask and staying at least six feet away from others, may help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.

Are there side effects from COVID-19 vaccines?

According to the CDC, serious side effects that could cause a long-term health problem are extremely unlikely following any vaccination, including COVID-19 vaccination. There may be some short-term, minor side effects (for example, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, a sore arm where a shot was given or a low-grade fever after a vaccine). These effects are normal. They indicate that your body is building protection against the virus, and they should go away on their own within a few days.

For more about potential side effects, what to expect and what to look for, please visit the CDC’s resource page.

If I have already gotten sick with COVID-19, do I still need to get vaccinated for COVID-19?

Due to a range of health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection is possible, patients may be advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they have been sick with COVID-19 before. If you have questions or concerns about vaccination after you have tested positive for COVID-19, please consult your physician.

What do I need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people 12 years old and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant or might become pregnant in the future. There is no evidence that COVID-19 mRNA vaccines cause an increased risk of infertility.

For more information about COVID-19 vaccines and pregnancy, visit the CDC’s recommendations page.

What about children and the COVID-19 vaccine?

Children are eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19. For more information about COVID-19 vaccinations for children and teens, speak to your pediatrician or consult the CDC’s resource page.

If I have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, do I need a booster shot?

In 2021, the CDC recommended that people whose immune systems are compromised moderately to severely should receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine after the initial two doses.

Since that time, the CDC’s booster shot guidance evolved with respect to patient eligibility criteria and specific vaccines recommended for boosters.

Please consult with a physician if you have specific questions about COVID-19 vaccine booster shots. The CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine section is continually updated to share the most recent guidance regarding the vaccine and ongoing developments with boosters.