COVID-19 Vaccination Updates

As of 2 p.m., Jan. 22, 2021:

The next update is planned for Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021. Separate communications will be sent as needed. Check regularly for information relevant to you and your role in our pandemic response. Also pay attention to specific instructions from your department or school.

Current Status, as of 2 p.m., Jan. 22, 2021

  • We continue to see very concerning growth in the number of COVID cases, hospitalizations and test positivity rates throughout the Houston-Galveston region.
  • COVID safety is essential to protect ourselves, our patients and our communities.
  • Resist “COVID fatigue.
  • See the “Reminders” section below for COVID safety measures.
  • Continue to practice these safety measures even if you have been vaccinated. We cannot let down our guard until we have reached herd immunity through widespread vaccination.


COVID-19 testing and patient data (UTMB Health System)

UTMB tests performed for UTMB patients and employees, nursing homes and Galveston County Health District screenings
Cumulative from March 13, 2020, to 9 a.m., Jan. 22, 2021


Positive results from these tests
Cumulative from March 13, 2020, to 9 a.m., Jan. 22, 2021


Patients Under Investigation for COVID-19 (PUI)
Currently hospitalized across the UTMB Health System, as of 9 a.m., Jan. 22, 2021; “PUI” = tested and awaiting results


COVID-19-positive patients in UTMB hospitals
Currently hospitalized, as of 9 a.m., Jan. 22, 2021; does not include TDCJ offenders


COVID-19-positive TDCJ patients in Hospital Galveston
Currently hospitalized, as of 9 a.m., Jan. 22, 2021


COVID-19-positive UTMB hospital patients discharged to home Cumulative as of 9 a.m., Jan. 22, 2021


Deaths among UTMB hospital patients with COVID-19
Cumulative from April 9, 2020, to 9 a.m., Jan. 22, 2021; excludes deaths that occur outside of UTMB hospitals (e.g., nursing home, home hospice)




Employee COVID Rates

  • Approximately 0.7% of our employee population is unable to work due to COVID-19.
  • UTMB has performed 9,678 tests on its employees since the pandemic began.
  • 1,576 employees have tested positive since the pandemic began (including UTMB-tested employees and self-reported results).
  • In the last 24 hours, two employees have tested positive, while 17 have returned to work.

Vaccine Administration (to date since Dec. 15, 2020)

  • First doses given: 14,286
  • Second doses given (fully vaccinated): 4,709
  • Second doses scheduled: 9,607

Updated Travel Information for Employees and Students

  • As of Jan. 26, 2021, UTMB employees and students arriving via air to the United States from a foreign country must get tested for COVID-19 no more than three calendar days before the flight departs and must present the negative test result (molecular COVID-19 NAAT/PCR or antigen test) or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding the flight.
  • Returning employees and students are required to be tested by molecular COVID-19 assay three to five days after travel. Tests may be arranged through Employee Health at (409) 747-9172 or or through Student Health at (409) 747-9508 or Returning employees and students must also stay home or otherwise self-quarantine for seven days after travel. If the test result is positive, UTMB policies on when to return to work will apply.

Vaccine Program Update

  • For the latest information from UTMB experts on the coronavirus, how mRNA vaccines work and were evaluated, and what to expect when vaccinated, view the Jan. 19 Town Hall Vaccine Forum at
  • Focus of vaccination program remains on Phase 1A (health care workers) and Phase 1B (high-risk individuals), consistent with state guidelines.
  • Galveston County, UTMB and the Galveston County Health District are collaborating with partners in the region to ensure widespread vaccination consistent with state guidelines. This includes a by-appointment-only drive-through vaccination site for eligible individuals at Walter Hall Park in League City on Saturday, Jan. 23. Visit for more information. Additional vaccination events will be posted to that site as supplies allow.
  • Administration of second doses continues. If you have received the first shot, please make every effort to return for the second shot at the scheduled time. This not only ensures you have the fullest possible protection against COVID-19 illness, but also helps Employee Health in their vaccine planning.
  • Employees who missed their appointment for the second dose should reschedule by emailing Employee Health at with “COVID Vaccine Dose 2” as the subject line.
  • Important reminder about allergies: If you had a severe allergic reaction to the first dose (i.e., shock or severe difficulty breathing) OR if you had a mild allergic reaction within four hours of receiving the first dose (i.e., hives, facial swelling, wheezing)—even if you didn’t require medical care—the CDC advises not getting the second dose at this time. Visit this CDC page for more information.
  • See the Jan. 5 Vaccination Preparedness Task Force Update for information regarding vaccination of individuals with a SARS-CoV-2 infection or exposure.
  • Read the Jan. 22 Vaccination Task Force message available at  for important updates on upcoming availability of vaccine appointments for Phase 1A health care workers and considerations regarding coming to work if you’re experiencing side effects from the vaccine.
  • Recent COVID-19 Vaccination Preparedness Task Force messages
    • Dec. 23, 2020 (clarifies how UTMB’s tiered approach fits within the state’s phased vaccination plan)
    • Dec. 30, 2020 (UTMB program expanding to high-risk individuals)
    • Jan. 5, 2021 (updated CDC guidance on allergic reactions, prior infection)
    • Jan. 11, 2021 (impact of vaccine supply on our vaccination program)


Reminders and Important Links

  • COVID-19 testing for UTMB employees
  • UTMB has ample supplies of PPE to safely provide care throughout the current wave of COVID and beyond.
  • Continue to practice COVID safety at work, at home and in public:
    • Practice frequent hand hygiene by washing thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer.
    • Practice good social distancing at all times, including in elevators and conference rooms. Continue to use teleconferencing when possible.
    • Wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose in public areas. Public areas include lobbies, hallways, restrooms, office kitchens/breakrooms, copy rooms and elevators.
    • Stay home if sick. This is particularly important if you have respiratory symptoms or if you have been in contact with someone who may have COVID-19.
    • Get your flu shot.
  • Check your county’s health department web site for COVID information specific to your area.
  • Free mental health support for frontline workers: Hospital staff who are experiencing anxiety, stress or emotional challenges due to the pandemic are encouraged to access free mental health support through the state’s 24-hour hotline. The service is available to all Texans. Frontline workers can also access a virtual support group tailored specifically to meet their unique needs. Dial 833/986-1919 for general support or to be referred to the virtual support group. See HHSC’s flyer for more information. 


Wellness Tips

From your RISE (Resilience in Stressful Events) Task Force. Join us in focusing on at least one brief, healthy practice a day. Send pics, videos, stories or shout-outs to as we work together to stay healthy and resilient.


Follow these tips for a happier January:

  • Take a different route today and see what you notice.
  • Eat healthy food which really nourishes you today.
  • Get outside and notice five things that are beautiful.
  • Contribute positively to a good cause or your community.
  • Focus on what’s good, even if today feels tough.
  • Get back in contact with an old friend you miss.
  • Go to bed in good time and give yourself time to recharge.


Click here for information on resiliency, wellness and mental health resources immediately available to employees and their families, and students.



This update sent by the Office of Marketing and Communications, on behalf of President ad interim Dr. Ben G. Raimer and the UTMB Health Incident Command leadership.