Vaccine Access

The Texas Restaurant Association is working with private partners to help culinary and hospitality industry workers find access to COVID-19 vaccinations. We have been working with Good Work Austin, the Texas Food & Wine Alliance, and other partners to make this mission a reality.

Read below for important information about accessing the vaccine in Texas, and stay tuned for more updates. 

Who's eligible to get the vaccine now?

As of Monday, March 29, 2021, everyone age 16 and older is now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Texas.

Click here for more info from DSHS.

Where to get vaccinated

If you’re eligible to get vaccinated now, you can check with a large vaccination hub and/or a local vaccine provider, like a nearby pharmacy or your doctor.

Texas Public Health Vaccine Scheduler

The new Texas Vaccine Scheduler helps Texans get scheduled for a COVID-19 vaccine at clinics hosted by participating Texas public health entities. Register online at GetTheVaccine.dshs.texas.gov. You will be notified by email or text when and where to get the vaccine. If there’s not an available clinic near you, you will be directed to other places to get your vaccine. Call (833) 832-7067 if you don’t have internet or need help signing up. Call center support is available 7am-7pm, 7 days a week. Spanish language and other translators are available to help callers.

What vaccines are available?

Texas has three available vaccines depending on each location and vaccine administrator — Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson.

  • Pfizer: This vaccine requires two doses with a period of at least 21, and at most 28 days between injections. It’s approved for people 16 years and older.
  • Moderna: This vaccine requires two doses with a period of at least 28 days and at most 42 days between injections. It’s approved for people 18 years and older.
  • Johnson & Johnson: This vaccine requires a single dose. It’s approved for people 18 years and older.

Does the vaccine cost money?

Vaccines are free. While some sites require you to show your insurance card (if you have one), no one will have to pay for the vaccine.

Side effects and allergic reactions

Mild side effects are normal signs your body is building protection, and they usually go away after a few days. Severe reactions from the vaccine are rare. To be safe, your provider will have you wait on-site for 15-30 minutes after your shot. There's no evidence that the vaccines cause long-term health problems.

V-safe: Register with CDC's V-safe After Vaccination Health Checker on your smartphone to report any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. You’ll also get reminders for your second vaccine dose.

Can I pay my employees for the time they need to get vaccinated?

Yes! Congress recently extended COVID-19 paid sick leave to employers covered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The law applies to employers with less than 500 employees. COVID-19 paid sick leave can receive a federal payroll tax credit.

Employees who previously exhausted their Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) leave will be entitled to a new set of 10 days of paid sick leave.

In addition to a new set of paid leave, there are three new qualifying reasons for paid sick leave under EPSLA. The new reasons are:

  • an employee is seeking or awaiting results of a diagnostic test or awaiting a medical diagnosis of COVID‐19 infection,
  • an employee is obtaining a COVID‐19 vaccine, or
  • an employee is recovering from any illness, injury or condition related to COVID‐19 immunization.

Read more from our partners Monty & Ramirez here and JacksonLewis here.

Immigration status and COVID-19 vaccine availability

Thank you to our TRA Law Center Partner, Monty & Ramirez, for providing this content:

While we are cognizant that employers seek to abide by our U.S. immigration laws, it is a reality that some of our organizations and businesses may unknowingly employ individuals without legal status due to the prevalence of fraudulent documentation. As such, we believe it is important to advocate for vaccines for all, regardless of immigration status.

Similarly, DHS and federal government partners support equal access to the COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine distribution sites for all undocumented and documented immigrants. DHS has committed to ensuring every individual in need of a COVID-19 vaccine will receive one regardless of their immigration status. Unlike former President Trump – Biden is working to ensure no immigrant will be subject to discrimination due to their immigration status. The Biden administration has also stated that no data regarding the COVID-19 vaccinations can be shared with ICE to encourage vaccinations regardless of immigration status.

Per DHS statement, “It is a moral and public health imperative to ensure that all individuals residing in the United States have access to the vaccine. DHS encourages all individuals, regardless of immigration status, to receive the COVID-19 vaccine once eligible under local distribution guidelines.” 

To this end, vaccine providers should not be asking about immigration status. Asking such questions would deter individuals, especially those already in vulnerable populations, from seeking vaccinations, which would contradict the vaccination efforts made thus far.

Estatus migratorio y disponibilidad de vacunas contra el COVID-19

Estamos conscientes de que los empleadores buscan cumplir con nuestras leyes de inmigración, es una realidad que algunas de nuestras organizaciones y empresas pueden emplear sin saberlo a individuos sin estatus legal debido a la prevalencia de la documentación fraudulenta. Como tal, creemos que es importante proponer vacunas para todos, independientemente del estatus migratorio.  

Del mismo modo, DHS y los socios del gobierno federal apoyan el acceso igualitario a las vacunas COVID-19 y a los sitios de distribución de vacunas para todos los inmigrantes indocumentados y documentados. DHS se ha comprometido a garantizar que todas las personas que necesiten una vacuna contra el COVID-19 reciban una independientemente de su estatus migratorio.  A diferencia del expresidente Trump, Biden está trabajando para asegurar que ningún inmigrante será objeto de discriminación debido a su estatus migratorio. La administración del presidente Biden también ha indicado que no se pueden compartir datos sobre las vacunas contra el COVID-19 con ICE para fomentar las vacunas independientemente del estatus migratorio.

Según la declaración del DHS, "Es un imperativo moral y de salud pública garantizar que todas las personas que residen en los Estados Unidos tengan acceso a la vacuna. DHS alienta a todas las personas, independientemente del estatus migratorio, a recibir la vacuna contra el COVID-19 una vez elegible bajo las directrices de distribución local."

Con este fin, los proveedores de vacunas no deberían preguntar sobre el estatus migratorio. Hacer tales preguntas disuadiría a las personas, especialmente a las que ya se encuentran en poblaciones vulnerables, de buscar vacunas, lo que contradeciría los esfuerzos de vacunación realizados hasta ahora.

Download Letter to Employees