Fort Bend County to enter agreement for community vaccine outreach program, amid contention

The initiative, meant to provide residents with reliable vaccine information, was approved in a 3-2 vote at the July 13 Fort Bend County Commissioners Court. (Morgan Jones/Community Impact Newspaper)
The initiative, meant to provide residents with reliable vaccine information, was approved in a 3-2 vote at the July 13 Fort Bend County Commissioners Court. (Morgan Jones/Community Impact Newspaper)

The initiative, meant to provide residents with reliable vaccine information, was approved in a 3-2 vote at the July 13 Fort Bend County Commissioners Court. (Morgan Jones/Community Impact Newspaper)

Fort Bend County commissioners approved a community vaccine outreach program, in a 3-2 vote at their July 13 Commissioners Court meeting. The initiative was originally proposed July 6, and ahead of its approval this week, multiple members of the public spoke against it, claiming it is a form of government overreach.

The county will use up to $345,000 of FEMA-Public Assistance funds in an agreement with consulting group Next Wave Strategies LLC, with the goal of providing reliable information to citizens, especially those that are most vulnerable to COVID-19, according to County Judge KP George.

George voted in favor of the program, along with commissioners Grady Prestage and Ken DeMerchant, and ahead of the vote he gave a statement saying this effort is meant to continue Fort Bend’s success so far as a leading county in the state in terms of percent of population vaccinated.

“All happened because of the continuous outreach from various organizations, nonprofit organizations, and also each and every one of our offices,” George said. “There is a great urgency to do everything we can do to support, educate, inform our community members, specifically those who are most vulnerable in our community so they can make an educated decision about getting vaccinated. Life is precious and we are trying to provide information to the community.”

Precinct 3 Commissioner Andy Meyers voted against the initiative, questioning its necessity given this success.


“Out of 254 counties, we’re right at the top ... in the number of vaccinations in the county,” Meyers said. “I question why in the world we need to spend $345,000 of taxpayers money in this particular effort, since we’re already doing what is obviously an outstanding job.”

Meyers also said it is his personal policy to not vote in favor of entities who are politically opposed to him, as is Next Wave Strategies, he said. Vincent Morales, Precinct 1 commissioner, likewise cited reasons against the consulting group in his decision to vote against the agreement.

“Any consultant hired to advise the residents of Fort Bend County as to the pros and cons of vaccination of COVID-19 virus should have a medical background that would ensure that the consultant has the requisite, the expertise to confidently advise our citizens,” Morales said.


MOST RECENT

One westbound land of Imperial Boulevard between Hwy. 6 and Crown Garden Trail is closed from July 29 at 4 p.m. through July 31 at 4 p.m., according to a press release from the city. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
One lane of Imperial Blvd. in Sugar Land closed through July 31

Motorists traveling on Imperial Boulevard in Sugar Land may experience delays due to the lane closure.

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.

The Missouri City Bond Exploratory Committee recommended the city call a $86.4 million bond election in November. City Council has until Aug. 16 to vote to put the bond on the ballot. (Courtesy Pexels)
Missouri City Bond Exploratory Committee recommends $86.4M bond, $0.05 tax rate increase

The bond would include three propositions: streets, roadways and mobility improvements; parks and recreation; and facilities.

Missouri City Council Member Jeffrey Boney (third from the left) and other community leaders attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new senior living communities July 21. (Courtesy city of Missouri City)
Two new senior apartment communities open on Texas Parkway in Missouri City

The Gala at Texas Parkway and the Jubilee at Texas Parkway, two new 55 and older apartment communities, are now leasing in Missouri City.

The study by Mason Tillman Associates will assess the utilization of minority and women-owned businesses countywide. (Community Impact Staff)
Fort Bend County to enact business disparity study

The study by Mason Tillman Associates will assess the utilization of minority and women-owned businesses countywide.

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.

The meals will be available at no cost for all students with zero requirements for qualification. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Harmony Public Schools to offer free meals to all students

The meals will be available at no cost for all students with zero requirements for qualification.

Fort Bend ISD's free summer Grab and Go Meals program ends July 29. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Fort Bend ISD summer meal program ends July 29 ahead of 2021-22 school year

On July 29, families will receive meals for July 29-31.

TemperaturePro opened in Sugar Land on June 1. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
TemperaturePro now providing air conditioning, heating services to Sugar Land area

TemperaturePro—a heating, ventilation and air conditioning franchise with locations throughout the nation and state—opened in Sugar Land on June 1.

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.

Registration for TSTC's fall semester, including enrollment in the new cloud computing certificate program, is open. (Courtesy Texas State Technical College)
Texas State Technical College to offer online certificate in cloud computing

Registration for TSTC's fall semester, including enrollment in the new cloud computing certificate program, is open.