LUBBOCK, Texas (KAMC/ KLBK) — With COVID vaccines readily available for anyone who is age 18 and up in Texas, how much personal information should people expect to provide when signing up to get a vaccine?
What people don’t have to share
As a general rule, according to Austin Public Health, no vaccine provider should require a social security number or form of payment for the vaccine.
According to the CDC website, the federal government is providing the vaccine for free to all people in the United States and providers can’t charge people for the vaccine or administrative fees surrounding it. So, people do not need to share credit card or other financial information.
Additionally, the Texas Department of State Health Services said providers cannot request medical records for proof of conditions, as long as they are not existing patients.
As a refresher, APH said anyone who is newly registering will not ever have to provide medical records to receive the vaccine.
Application process for Austin
In Austin, there are two ways to register with Austin Public Health, which is online and with 3-1-1, according to an Austin Public Health spokesperson.
If Austinites choose the online route, they will have to create an account that will require personal information, such as a name, phone number, email and their address. Additionally, according to APH, anyone can share information about medical conditions if they want to be classified in phases 1A or 1B.
However, it is not mandatory to provide any medical conditions.
As for people in the Austin area who have had their appointment canceled and suspect the person reaching out to them is not with APH, they can always call 3-1-1 for assistance to get an appointment rescheduled, APH said.
What is most important to remember is that APH will not personally call people to verify an appointment.
While APH said canceled appointments are not a super common occurrence, they are always followed up with an email, text or phone call explaining the situation.
According to APH, you do not have to bring anything to a vaccine appointment. Texas DSHS has tried its best to make the process easy.
If applying through APH, the only thing people need to bring is proof of their appointment, whether it be an email or text message confirmation.
The only question that might be asked is a person’s birthday, and that is just to make sure they are at least 18, for the Moderna vaccine, or 16 for the Pfizer vaccine.
Application process for Lubbock and surrounding counties
The hub site at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center, 1501 Mac Davis Lane, has been open since December. It had no residency restriction, so people could come from outside the county and receive their shots. It also opened it to those age 18 and up a little earlier than other providers in the state.
“When the governor made the announcement that we were opening to everyone, we started letting everyone in rather than waiting until March 29th,” City of Lubbock Public Health Director Katherine Wells said.
Wells said it is open four days a week and so far the rollout has been smooth.
“We only canceled one clinic, and that was due to a delayed vaccine shipment after the big snowstorm,” Wells said.
To register to get a vaccine at the civic center, residents can go to the Select-A-Seat website, City of Lubbock spokeswoman Lacey Nobles said.
“All [the residents] have to give is their name and email address — basically just login to your SAS account,” Nobles said.
The city said it decided going through SAS was best for Lubbock County, due to the overwhelming amount of calls the health department was receiving.
Unfortunately, the city said there were some possible scammers spoofing city phone numbers asking people to confirm their vaccination clinic appointment made via SAS. Nobles said anyone who has made appointments online will receive an email confirmation, not a phone call.
Nobles added that a week after the city heard about the first “spoofing” incident, it was made aware that possible scammers were calling citizens regarding their second dose of the vaccine. They were even asked questions regarding their insurance and Medicare.
Nobles said people do not need to share any insurance information to receive a vaccine, and the City of Lubbock will never ask for a social security number. She said if citizens are still wary, they can always call the health department at (806) 775-2933.
What to know when searching for a vaccine appointment
For those planning to go through a pharmacy to get the vaccine, the Texas Department of State Health Services website suggests checking the local pharmacy’s website to obtain more details.
Those who prefer to use participating public health entities can register at GetTheVaccine.dshs.texas.gov. People who sign up will be notified by email or text when and where to get the vaccine, according to the website. If there is not an available clinic nearby, you will be directed to other places to get your vaccine.
If someone wants to get the vaccine but does not have access to the internet, they can call (833) 832-7067 for a referral to a local vaccine provider. Call center support is available 7 a.m.to 7 p.m, seven days a week, according to the website.
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