Who's being left behind? 13 Investigates why some were 'forgotten' in vaccine efforts

ALDINE, Texas (KTRK) — At a time when vaccine demand across our area is dropping and attention waning, 13 Investigates identified neighborhoods where it never picked up.Our investigation found vaccines started out slow in Aldine and continue to be among the lowest in the county, with just 30% of residents 16 years and older vaccinated in the 77060 zip code.

“The community was kind of forgotten, was not a priority,” said Dr. Andrea Caracostis, CEO of the HOPE Clinic. “It’s not that people are lazy and don’t want to come to the clinic or that they don’t care. It’s that they have barriers to come here.”

TONIGHT AT 10: Ted Oberg talks to residents and health experts in Aldine about why some residents have been left behind in the push for vaccination.

Widespread vaccination is needed to reach herd immunity, which means enough people are vaccinated that it helps protect those who aren’t vaccinated by reducing the spread of the virus. Experts say herd immunity will be reached when about 75% to 80% of the population is vaccinated.

Across Texas, there’s only one county that has at least 75% of the population, 16 years and older, fully vaccinated. It’s Presidio County, located along the southwestern border of the United States and Mexico.

In Harris County, 39% of the population 16 years and older are fully vaccinated, according to state data. In Fort Bend County, 51% are fully vaccinated and 32% are fully vaccinated in Montgomery County.

INTERACTIVE: How close to reaching herd immunity is your county? Search the map below to see how many residents are vaccinated.On a mobile device? Click here.

To help increase vaccinations across Harris County, the HOPE Clinic has a mobile unit that will go into apartment complexes and neighborhoods to offer vaccinations. They also have two upcoming events for residents to get vaccinated:

  • 5 to 7 p.m. today at the Bolivian Consulate, 2401 Fountain View Drive, Suite 110 Houston, Texas 77057
  • 8 to 11 a.m. Friday at YMCA International, 6300 Westpark Drive, Suite 600 Houston, Texas 77057

Texas Children’s Hospital is also working with Aldine ISD to provide the COVID-19 vaccine on Friday and Saturday at the M.O. Campbell Center, 1865 Aldine Bender, TX 77032 – on May 14 and 15. Residents can schedule a vaccine at the center or at Texas Children’s facilities online.

Uber and Lyft will also provide free rides to and from vaccination sites until July 4 as part of a new partnership with the White House, a White House official told CNN.

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Author: Ted Oberg

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