The mayor made his remarks during a March 29 press conference announcing a friendly competition, the Take Your Best Shot challenge, among Houston-area universities to see which school can vaccinate the most students and alumni.
The University of Houston, University of St. Thomas, and Texas Southern University, with a total combined enrollment of nearly 66,000, are participating in the initiative.
The announcement came March 29, the first day adults age 16 and older with no underlying conditions are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
“This means you and your friends can now register for your COVID-19 vaccine, and I hope you will do that,” Turner said. “As young Houstonians, you have a responsibility to try to prevent large numbers of vulnerable people—such as your parents and older relatives—from contracting the virus and possibly spreading a virus that has taken hundreds of thousands of lives throughout this nation. And that is why I’m asking you today to take your best shot.”
As part of the challenge, students and alumni who register to get vaccinated will tweet out and post to social media with the #TBSUH, #TBSTSU and #TBSUST hashtags.
Nearly 1.6 million vaccine doses have been administered so far in Harris County. However, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, said the journey is far from complete.
“That’s why today is so very important. This challenge is so very important,” Lee said.
Jackson Lee's thoughts were echoed by Dr. David Persse, the city of Houston’s chief medical officer.
“I really hope that the students will take advantage of this challenge and be competitive for all the right reasons,” Persse said. “I cannot thank you and applaud your efforts enough.”
The announcement comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released study results March 29 on the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which show that following a single dose of either vaccine, participants’ risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 was reduced by 80% two or more weeks after the initial vaccination and by 90% two or more weeks after vaccination following the second dose of vaccine.