After a record-breaking surge of hospitalizations during the holiday season, Texas is finally seeing a downturn in hospital cases for COVID-19. But that hasn’t stopped the City of Houston from adding more immunizations for those especially in need.
Thousands of vaccines are headed to the Houston area this week, the city announced. The city’s health department received 9,000 additional first doses on February 5 and anticipates another 1,600 on February 8.
Some 6,391 of these inoculations are reserved for the department’s Area Agency on Aging, while 3,850 are meant for providers in underserved communities. The balance will be allotted to previously scheduled appointments.
Importantly for elderly patients, this week’s vulnerable population vaccine allocation means the health department will not open new appointments or add to its Area Agency on Aging waitlist for the week of February 8, the city notes.
Currently, health department appointments are full; residents are urged not to contact the COVID-19 call center regarding first dose appointments as no slots are available.
Houstonians who have received their first dose through the city, such as the Minute Maid Park site, can check the second-dose schedule here.
Meanwhile, those interested in a city-distributed vaccination can register for the HoustonRecovers subscription of AlertHouston for new appointment opportunities through email, text message, voice call, or mobile app push notifications.
The appointment portal for Houston Health Department vaccine clinics will open at HoustonEmergency.org/covid19 when appointments become available.
As of February 7, Harris County has 328,426 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Houston/Harris County with 3,056 deaths and some 284,951 patients having recovered. The current positivity rate is 17.1 percent.
Mayor Sylvester Turner also has announced a plan to be more “intentional and directional” in inoculating minorities during the pandemic. He cited recent data showing minorities are less likely to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Current vaccination numbers in Houston show 43 percent for Anglos, 21 percent for Hispanics, 15 percent for Asians, and 18 percent for African Americans, the mayor noted. Studies show that since the start of the global pandemic, the coronavirus has disproportionately affected minorities, namely Hispanics and Blacks.