The Houston Health Department begins administering updated COVID-19 booster shots

Newer boosters target dominant Omicron subvariants

The Houston Health Department (HHD) is now administering the updated Pfizer and Moderna bivalent booster shots at its health centers and several multi-services centers.

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommends the use of Pfizer for people ages 12 years and older and Moderna for people ages 18 years and older at least two months after their last booster or primary series.

The updated COVID-19 booster shots help restore protection that wanes since the previous vaccination and provide more protection against the newer variants. The boosters target the most recent Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, considered more contagious and resistant than earlier strains of Omicron.

“The updated booster shots will better protect us all from the most current COVID-19 variants and hopefully also slow down the pandemic,” said Dr. David Persse, chief medical officer for the City of Houston. “I urge people to get a booster shot and help keep themselves, their family, friends and co-workers safe from COVID-19.”

Common side effects are similar to the earlier boosters. They include fever, headache, fatigue or tiredness and pain at the injection site.

The department offers the shots at its four health centers and several of its multi-service centers. Doctors’ offices, pharmacies and clinics also offer the vaccines and boosters.

Vaccinations at health department sites are free and do not require insurance or proof of residency.

HHD offers free COVID-19 testing that does not require insurance at several of its multi-service centers. Some department partner sites require insurance and ID for testing.

Visit or call the HHD call center at 832-393-4220 for information on vaccine locations and schedules.