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A step-by-step look at the COVID-19 vaccination process in Nueces County

One of the most asked questions is: Do you have to register or get on a list before you get vaccinated?

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The vaccination process may seem a bit overwhelming. Many have called and messaged 3News with questions: How will I know when it is available? What do I need to do to prepare?

3News has been following the COVID-19 vaccination process closely and spoke with Nueces County Public Health Director Annette Rodriguez on Monday. She broke down everything you need to know about the process.

Let's start from the beginning.

One of the most asked questions is: Do you have to register or get on a list before you get vaccinated?

"Step number one, how do I get on the list?" Rodriguez said. "There is no list to get on. So the only way to get your vaccine is, if you qualify to be on one of those phases, and right now that's 1A, and we're looking at 1B, 65 years and older."

Those in category 1A, such as first responders, can show up at any time to get their vaccinations no matter the phase. 

If any of the following apply to you, you are in category 1B:

  1. People 65 years of age and older.
  2. People 16 years of age and older with at least one chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19, such as but not limited to: 
  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies
  • Solid organ transplantation
  • Obesity and severe obesity (body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or higher)
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

Health officials have been cleared to start vaccinating people in phase 1B, but there's a caveat. The Health Department has to have enough vaccines to cover all 1A participants.

Rodriguez said the best way to know if they are offering vaccines for phase 1B people is to ask your medical provider or watch the news. The Health Department sends out a notice to us when they get shipments of the vaccine. 

RELATED: There's still a wait for COVID vaccinations for educators in the Coastal Bend, but health officials say there is a plan

They want to make sure it gets out as quickly as possible, and to as many people as possible. So make sure you're keeping track of the updates. If you are eligible for the vaccine, you can make the process easier on yourself by making sure you have a cellphone at the ready. 

You will need a cell phone in order to register when you are at the distribution site. You will scan a QR code, which takes you to a form to fill out on your phone.

But what if you don't have a cell phone or access to technology? 

"If you don't have a phone, that's not a problem either," Rodriguez said. "If you don't have a phone, we're going to help you. We're going to do paperwork with you. We're going to fill out all the paperwork that says, what is your name, your demographics, your date of birth, your address. We're going to do all those things manually with you."

Once you get registered, you keep moving forward in the line to wait your turn for the vaccination.

Then comes the next step. What you wear to get your vaccination. 

You don't want to wear long sleeves because when you try to roll it up, it just doesn't seem to go as high. So what you need to wear is a short sleeve shirt, or wear one that buttons up in the front. It's much easier and it gets you in and out of line quick. 

After you get your vaccination, there's a 15-minute wait time to make sure you're OK; but what if in the past you have had allergic reactions to vaccinations?

"You're going to go off to another lane which is a 30 minute wait because you have severe allergic reactions," Rodriguez said. "So we're going to watch you. That's where we have EMS there, so we're going to watch you for 30 minutes and make sure you don't have a severe allergic reaction that we need to help you with."

Once you are cleared to go and you had no reactions, Rodriguez says the information you entered either via the QR code or paperwork will be used to notify you of when your second dose is ready. 

RELATED: Here's what you need to know about the new COVID-19 variation hitting the UK

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.

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