For those experiencing COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy, or scheduling conflicts, the state of Texas is making it easier than ever to get the vaccine for groups of five or more.
Whether it’s a family reunion, a get-together at a park, or a business vaccination day, all events are qualified for Texas’ mobile vaccination program, which expanded to increase vaccination rates across Texas.
“This allows us to get a little deeper down into the community,” said Seth Christensen, spokesperson for the Texas Division of Emergency Management. “We have the team, we have the assets, and we have the vaccines available to reach more Texans and expand our reach.”
Media coordinator Nakia Cooper admits she was “vaccine hesitant” but after seeing the offer from the State of Texas, felt more at ease about getting her family vaccinated.
“It’s not that I was totally against the vaccine but I was definitely nervous about the side effects and the fact that it was – to me- made so fast,” Cooper said. “So, I procrastinated about getting it because I do have a heavy workload and that was a convenient excuse for me to remain undecided.”
Cooper saw an article on the Texas Tribune and thought “why not.”
“When I saw they would come to your home, I thought that there were no more excuses. On top of that, I had to cancel a family trip to New Mexico this week because the resort required us to be fully vaccinated,” she said. “With the new Delta variant on top of everything else, I knew it was time to get my entire family taken care of.”
Cooper has five members in her home, including her two children, her sister and nephew. She said she called last Wednesday and a mobile vaccination unit was scheduled for Monday – just five days later.
More than 12 million citizens of Texas have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine and more than 10 million residents of eligible population ages are fully vaccinated. The goal of vaccinating the majority of Texas’ population is slowed by hesitancy, geographical challenges, and other problems.
The decrease in demand for the vaccine across the nation has sparked new ideas on how to make the vaccine more accessible.
The mobile vaccination program began in January and was strictly for Texans in hard-to-reach areas, rural communities, homebound residents, and senior citizens.
As the supply for the vaccine and vaccination rates among vulnerable populations increased, state officials set up the Mobile Vaccination Team Call Center through the state hotline to schedule on-site clinics for groups of 10 and up. Since then more than 12,000 Texans have received the vaccine.
As Gov. Greg Abbott announced the expansion of the project this week, he encouraged “groups of Texans who wish to get vaccinated as a business, family unit, friend group, or more” to schedule an event and help defeat the pandemic.
“By working together to get more shots in arms, we will continue to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in communities across the state,” he said.
To schedule, a clinic for groups of five or more, call 844-90-TEXAS and select option 3. Homebound residents can call the same number and dial option 1 to have a vaccine team visit their home.