Health officials launch statewide initiative to get more Texans vaccinated, boosted

Health officials launch statewide initiative to get more Texans vaccinated and boosted

HOUSTON – State health officials and doctors will be in Houston this week to encourage people to get their COVID-19 vaccinations and updated booster shots.

Health officials are set to host two educational events with games and activities for the entire family. The events will be held on Wednesday at the Walmart on South Wayside Drive in southeast Houston and on Thursday at the Walmart on South Rice in Southwest Houston. Both events will run from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

People who stop by are encouraged to simply walk inside the stores and get their vaccination or booster shots.

“This booster protects you both from the original strain of COVID-19 and against the strains that are in circulation currently in Houston,” said Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Luis Ostrosky, with UTHealth/Memorial Hermann.

The CDC recommends everyone 12 and older get the updated booster shot, as long as they’ve already had their first series of shots. They should wait at least two months since their last dose.

People who are 18 and over can either get the updated Pfizer or Moderna shot and those 12 and up are eligible for an updated Pfizer shot.

“COVID kills people, can land you in the hospital and there’s a third option, which is long COVID, which is very disabling and vaccines and boosters have been shown to protect you from this,” Ostrosky said.

Since flu season is expected to be harsh and doctors are seeing early flu activity here in Houston, officials recommend being up-to-date on both their flu and COVID-19 vaccinations.

Starting Tuesday, Memorial Hermann clinics are offering the new Pfizer booster shot for established patients by appointment only. If you’re not, they encourage people check with their local pharmacy.

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