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Houston Health Department working to vaccinate most vulnerable communities

HOUSTON – On Thursday, the Houston Health Department received 9,000 additional doses. They’re focusing on vaccinating people at the highest risk levels and those in our most vulnerable communities.

“Really we are trying to save lives,” said Stephen Williams, the director of the Houston Health Department.

Williams said it’s vital to reach the most vulnerable parts of the city.

“It’s striking that when you look at people the Hispanic community and the African American community those communities are disproportionately represented in those numbers relative to cases and deaths,” he said.

The Health Department shared a graphic with KPRC 2 News. One of the graphics breaks down the race and ethnicities of vaccine recipients.

For the health department, 18% of those who got the shot were Black, and when it comes to Hispanics the number is just over 21%, compared to whites who make up over 43%.

“We are not satisfied with our number as it stands now, we need to do more,” Williams said.

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The department will provide approximately 5,300 doses to the Area Agency on Aging, 2,400 for providers in vulnerable communities, and 1,300 for previously scheduled appointments.

This means the city will not open new appointments.

As the supply of doses increases, Williams encouraged everyone to get the shot when it becomes available to them.

“I understand the hesitancy giving all of the talk hearing about all of the things that have happened but all of the medical folks are pretty much saying that it’s safe. We believe it. I have personally gotten my first dose,” he said.

Officials said they’re working to notify people about appointment times and locations.