Galveston County health officials to focus on small-scale vaccination efforts

Image description
Public health staffers and volunteers in the Bay Area have shifted their COVID-19 vaccination focus to smaller-scale sites and efforts in Galveston County for the summer.

At the beginning of the year, Walter Hall Park, located just off Hwy. 3 in League City, was transformed to allow residents to drive up and receive a COVID-19 vaccine. This site was chosen in part because it is county property and could be used for as long as necessary, said Philip Keiser, Galveston County local health authority.

The Walter Hall site was initially meant to be one of several, but it was effective enough the county chose not to open more, he added. The site provided over 100,000 vaccines and operated from mid-January until May 1, by which time demand had significantly decreased, Keiser said.

The eventual lack of a need for a large-scale site indicates the Walter Hall hub was effective, and the county can now focus on providing several hundred doses at a time in at-risk communities versus thousands of doses a day, Keiser said.

“We view [the Walter Hall site] as a real success,” he said.


About half of the county’s population age 12 and over is fully vaccinated as of June 20, according to state data. County efforts will be focused on providing vaccines in clinics and in areas where there is the most need for vaccinations, Keiser said.

About 3 in every 4 county residents are likely to get vaccinated, Keiser estimated. While some areas are having a difficult time getting Black residents vaccinated, Keiser said, the Galveston area is doing really well with Black vaccination rates.

The county is focusing on those hesitant or unwilling to get vaccinated in the hopes of reaching a 60% to 70% vaccination rate, which Keiser said would signal a return to prepandemic conditions.

“We’re getting there, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do,” he said.

Clinics are located at the Galveston and League City University of Texas Medical Branch campuses as well as at Galveston County Health District. Keiser said the GCHD also plans to keep opening clinics at schools: Both Clear Creek and Friendswood ISDs have already hosted vaccination events for students and community members.

Corrie Levine, a public health student studying for her doctorate through UTMB, has volunteered at both large- and small-scale county vaccination sites during COVID-19. Getting vaccines out to willing vaccine recipients is essential, she said.

“That’s really what we need to do right now is be out in the community [and offer] doses day and night to anyone who wants it,” she said.

While residents may hear stories about the negative effects or aspects of getting a COVID-19 vaccine, Keiser emphasized the health district’s trust in the efficacy of the shots.

“I’m not asking people to do anything that I haven’t done for myself and that I haven’t done for my family,” he said. “It’s time to get your vaccine.”
By Colleen Ferguson
A native central New Yorker, Colleen Ferguson worked as an editorial intern with the Cy-Fair and Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood editions of Community Impact before joining the Bay Area team in 2020. Colleen graduated from Syracuse University in 2019, where she worked for the campus's independent student newspaper The Daily Orange, with a degree in Newspaper and Online Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a degree in Spanish language and culture. Colleen previously interned with The Journal News/lohud, where she covered the commute in the greater New York City area.

<

MOST RECENT

(Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)
Clear Creek ISD updates: Board members discuss Whitcomb Elementary remodel, staff compensation and benefits July 26

The board approved a number of measures at the July 26 regular board meeting, including the sale of land to League City, spending on graphics services and the design development for Whitcomb Elementary’s $28.3 million remodel.

School supplies will be exempt from the 8.25% sales tax Aug. 6-8. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
What to know before the statewide tax-free weekend Aug. 6-8

Customers will not have to pay the standard 8.25% sales tax on select clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks under $100.

Houston Firefighters
Appeals court rules in favor of union in longstanding Houston firefighters pay parity case

The measure, known as Proposition B, requires Houston firefighters to receive the same pay as Houston police officers of comparable rank. 

The annual fundraiser helps increase revenue for local restaurants while raising contributions for the Houston Food Bank. (Courtesy Pexels)
Bay Area restaurants to participate in Houston Restaurant Weeks, Aug. 1-Sept. 6

A total of seven restaurants in Pasadena, Webster, Dickinson and Seabrook will participate in the annual fundraiser.

(Courtesy Black Rock Coffee Bar)
Black Rock Coffee Bar now open in Webster

Black Rock Coffee Bar opened in mid-July.

Main Chick Hot Chicken opened its first brick-and-mortar location July 23 in Sugar Land. (Courtesy Main Chick Hot Chicken)
Main Chick Hot Chicken opens in Sugar Land; Urban Bird Hot Chicken coming to Cy-Fair and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news for the Houston area, including two new chicken restaurants.

Houston-area residents will be able to apply online for a one-time payment of $1,500 from July 28-Aug. 11. (File photo)
$30M COVID Relief Fund opens for Harris County residents as eviction moratorium ends

Sourced by funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, eligible residents will receive a one-time payment of $1,500 to support urgent needs.

(Courtesy city of League City)
League City City Council OKs leasing Clear Creek ISD building

With no discussion, League City City Council on July 27 approved an interlocal agreement with Clear Creek ISD to lease one of its oldest buildings for city functions.

The flaming saganaki is lit up tableside for diners, and served with baked or fried pita. Gyro meat, chicken, shrimp and vegetables can also be added; the dish starts at $16. (Colleen Ferguson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Bakkhus Taverna: Kemah restaurant serves 'Texas-Greek' flavor fusions

The eatery opened at 605 Sixth St. in the summer of 2008, a month before Hurricane Ike.

The Deer Park location is owned and operated by local entrepreneurs Sonda and Michael Frament. Michael has over 20 years of professional experience in computer programming and software development. (Courtesy of Sonda and Michael Frament)
Code Ninjas opens Deer Park location

The national kids' coding franchise also has Pearland, Friendswood and League City locations.

Pride Houston Parade
Pride Houston fall parade and festival canceled due to COVID-19 concerns

The downtown annual parade and festival, scheduled for Sept. 25, will be replaced by a Montrose block party and other events, organizers announced July 25.

The CDC reversed its masking guidance for fully vaccinated individuals in response to the transmissibility of the delta variant of COVID-19 in a press conference July 27. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
NEW CDC GUIDANCE: All individuals should wear masks in K-12 schools, including those who are fully vaccinated

The new CDC guidance, announced July 27, also recommends people in areas with "high" or "substantial" levels of transmission wear masks regardless of vaccination status.