HOUSTON - With the supply of COVID-19 vaccines now outpacing demand, Harris County Public Health leaders are working to continue increasing access to vaccines. So if you do still want one, it should be easier than ever to get one. Public Health officials say they’re continuing to adjust the way they distribute vaccines to better fit people’s lifestyles.
"When they have vaccine hesitancy, a lot of the times it’s because they may not have access to the vaccine, or they may not want to go into an NRG or a big stadium to get the vaccination," said Jennifer Kiger with Harris County Public Health.
This week, Harris County Public Health is shifting its focus in an effort to get more people vaccinated against COVID-19, establishing 44 small community vaccine sites in addition to NRG Park.
"This week we’ve really transitioned to have smaller sites where we work with those community partners," said Kiger.
As part of that shift, they’re shutting down the big week-long drive-through sites.
"What we’ve noticed is that people are more inclined to go to a drive through site on the weekends or on a Friday, and then during the week we’re really offering it at the neighborhood or community level," said Kiger.
Kiger told FOX 26, her heath department is hoping a vaccine site at one’s own church or school might help increase the vaccination rate.
"It’s a trusted source," said Kiger. "It’s a known place that they go to often, and we’ve seen that people are more apt to getting the vaccine in those types of locations."
They’re also offering people a ride to the vaccines site if they need one.
"We also have a good partnership with Metro and METROLift, and we also have some community-based organizations that are willing to help us transport individuals to the vaccine sites," said Kiger.
Congressman Al Green has been joining the effort to make vaccines more accessible but says some people are just hesitant about vaccines regardless of access or convenience.
"If people can see others successfully being vaccinated without side effects that they think will be harmful to them, I think they’ll come around, and I also think that understanding what’s happening in distant places is going to be of help," said Green. "When we see what’s happening in India, and that’s being televised nightly—daily, in fact—people are going to realize that what’s happening in a distant place might happen here, and they might want to be prepared for these mutants that might traverse the oceans."
Harris County Public Health plans to have a smaller drive-through event in the Cypress area on Friday and Saturday. For details on vaccination sites in your neighborhood, click here.