Eligibility and Vaccine Information Surrounding the Texas Immigrant Community

Given the continued state of our nation, and with the upcoming anniversary of the start of shelter in place orders and the COVID-19 pandemic, many immigrant communities are at risk and in a state of constant stress as they fear for their jobs, lives, and families on top of contracting a deadly virus. While the production of a vaccine has come to completion with thousands of individuals already being recipients, many in the immigrant community who are in need of it most are left in the dark as to whether or not they are eligible or if their status is at risk for simply inquiring. However, there are many resources and eligibility criteria for many immigrants residing in the United States that are in need of vaccination regardless of their legal status.

Eligibility Criteria

According to CDC reports for the vaccine rollout schedule as well as the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, there are multiple groups of individuals that qualify under the current vaccination phase that would include undocumented communites. Additionally, as of March 15, 2021, people aged 50 and up are now eligible for immunization. Eligible groups that would include the undocumented community are those who are essential workers, home health workers, health care workers, residents of long-term care facilities, individuals aged 16-65 and up to name a few. In keeping in mind the undocumented individuals that reside in the United States as well as their concerns over seeking medical help affecting their immigration status, the Department of Homeland Security has released a statement that “encourages all individuals, regardless of immigration status, to receive the COVID-19 vaccine once eligible under local distribution guidelines”(Department of Homeland Security,2019).

How to Find A Site Near You And What to Know

Given the urgency of the situation, many vaccine distribution centers are available in different formats and locations such as local Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, and HEB near you. Larger max facilities include NRG Stadium in Houston, TX, Parkland Hospital in Dallas,TX, University Medical Center in El Paso, TX, and UT Health RGV Family Health in Edinburg,TX. To register, a legal first and last name is needed along with which criteria that qualifies you for the vaccine as well as your address and a reliable phone number and email. This may differ between facility registration websites but is the basic information that is needed to register for most COVID-19 vaccination appointments. When it comes to the actual day of, depending on the location of the site different requirements may be needed such as proof of eligibility and identity such as a work badge, doctors referral, birth certificate, identification card, etc. Should you or someone close to you need additional accommodations such as a home vaccination visit or translation services contact the center 24-48 hours for further assistance.

The fight to return to our lives pre-pandemic is far from over, but we are inching closer with every innovation that comes our way. If you are able to utilize the resources discussed or guide others to them as well, it is strongly encouraged as the support we offer to one another is a large driving force in keeping spirits high and opportunities for prosperity alive in this difficult and uncertain time.