What’s behind the recent wave of book banning? (Feb. 17, 2022) – Houston Public Media
On Thursday's show: A new study says Houston's Black and Latino neighborhoods were less likely to get COVID-19 vaccines during their initial rollout. We learn why. Plus we discuss the recent wave of books being banning from certain schools.houstonpublicmedia.org
Fort Bend County set to launch 1st COVID mega testing site
Fort Bend County is the latest Houston-area community to launch a drive-thru COVID-19 mega testing site. Leaders say the site is a necessity, citing “the exponential increase” in demand by residents for COVID testing because of the rapid spread of the omicron variant.
Your Questions Answered: COVID-19 and the vaccine for kids ages 5+
The COVID-19 vaccine is now available to kids aged 5 and older. Pediatric infectious disease expert at UT Physicians and Director of Pediatric Infection Prevention for Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, Dr. Misti Ellsworth, who had her children all vaccinated on the first day it was available, shares everything we need to know including dosage information.
New York wants world leaders to show proof of vaccination at the U.N. Russia says that is ‘discriminatory.’
The debate unfolding around the world over coronavirus vaccine mandates is playing out on a small scale at the United Nations headquarters ahead of a meeting of dozens of world leaders in New York next week.washingtonpost.com
European regulator looking at possible side effects of COVID vaccines
Europe’s drug regulator said on Wednesday it was looking into three new conditions to assess whether they may be possible side effects related to COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna following a small number of cases.news.yahoo.com
‘Nobody’s coming to get them’: Health officials say vaccines are going to waste as COVID hospitalizations continue to rise
It’s been two weeks since July 4, and typically with COVID, two to three weeks after people gather for celebrations marks the time that the virus increases, and it’s proving to be true again.
Tickets, giveaways: These are the NRG Park vaccination site incentives for getting your COVID-19 vaccination
Eligibility to win tickets to events and giveaways are among the incentives being offered for those that receive their COVID-19 vaccinations at NRG Park's Community Vaccine Center from May 3-16.
Gov. Abbott announces new outreach partnership to help increase COVID-19 vaccinations among senior citizens
Greg Abbott announced Thursday a new outreach partnership to help enhance the state’s Save Our Seniors program. The partnership includes the Texas Employee Retirement System, the Texas Teachers Retirement System, AARP, and Medicare health plans. The outreach partnership is expected to reach 2 million seniors. “With the continued success of the Save Our Seniors program, we are protecting more seniors in Texas from COVID-19,” Abbott said. Texans can call 211 to find out more information about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
Galveston County’s top doctor views ferry access as possible move to vaccinate more people
Galveston – It is considered one of the more interesting proposals in the push to get people shots of the COVID-19 vaccine. Galveston’s top doctor wants to give priority boarding on the Galveston-Bolivar ferry to people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine. “We’ll work out a deal with the ferry so that people (who) get vaccinated, get on the ferry first,” said Dr. Philip Keise with the Galveston County Health Authority. Keiser is floating the idea and says they need creative ways like this one to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible. Ad“We’ll just go down the line ‘Bam, bam, bam, bam, bam.’ One-shot and done,” said Keiser.“ Have some medical personnel on the ferries so that they can watch those folks as they’re going over.
7 diseases that vaccines have all but eliminated in the U.S.
First- and second-graders line up for Salk Polio vaccine shots on April 23, 1955. Regardless of where anyone stands on the matter, we know that vaccinations have been protecting us from diseases for decades. In 1921, the United States recorded 206,000 cases, which resulted in 15,520 deaths, according to the History of Vaccines website. According to the CDC, polio was once one of the most feared diseases in the U.S. Since 1979, there have been no polio cases that originated in the U.S.
Mexico to rely heavily on Chinese vaccines
An elderly woman gets her shot of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 in Mexico City, Monday, March 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)MEXICO CITY – Mexico announced a huge bet on Chinese vaccines Tuesday, without making public any information about their efficacy. The total of 32 million doses, plus at least 4 million doses of the CanSino shot, would dwarf the estimated 5 million vaccine doses Mexico has acquired so far from other sources. Mexico has administered only about 4.7 million doses of all vaccines, a tiny amount given the country’s population of 126 million. AdInoculations with Chinese vaccines already have begun in more than 25 countries.
When will children be able to get COVID-19 vaccines?
When will children be able to get COVID-19 vaccines? (AP Illustration/Peter Hamlin)(AP) – When will children be able to get COVID-19 vaccines? Pfizer and Moderna expect to start studies in children 11 and younger later this year. Read previous Viral Questions:How would COVID-19 vaccine makers adapt to variants? AdHow do we know the COVID-19 vaccines are safe?
Spanish king's sisters vaccinated on trip to see dad in UAE
The sisters of Spanish King Felipe VI have acknowledged on Wednesday, March 3, 2021, that they were administered COVID-19 vaccines during a visit to the United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza, File)MADRID – Two untimely coronavirus jabs have dealt another blow to the reputation of Spain's royals. The vaccination by the king’s sisters was widely criticized across Spain. The sisters of Spain’s King Felipe VI are no longer part of the official royal household, which said that the 53-year-old Felipe, Queen Letizia and their two daughters have not yet been vaccinated. Health Minister Carolina Darias, from the senior, Socialist partner of the governing coalition, made a distinction between Felipe and his sisters.
Pfizer testing third dose as booster shot, but medical expert says its too soon to consider
But with the focus on the first round, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourlasays says people may need to start thinking already about yearly shots. “A likely scenario is we will not have a third dose vaccine. How can Americans start thinking about annual shots starting next year? Dr. Pedro Piedra, a professor pediatric infectious disease specialist at Baylor College of Medicine, say it’s just too soon to know if annual shots for COVID-19 will be necessary. Doctors say 75% to 80% of the population vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.
What happened? Vaccines nearly ruined in Houston area as winter storm bears down
On Monday, Harris County Public Health came dangerously close to wasting more than 8,400 COVID-19 Moderna vaccines when the power went out and then a backup generator failed. AdTo the public health agency’s credit, in short order in the dead of night in a storm, not a single shot was wasted, according to the county. More than 5,400 of those vaccines were rushed to three hospitals, Rice University and the Harris County Jail. “I could never imagine we were going to go through this.”AdThis week, Harris County sent out messages informing patients their second doses would be rescheduled and that process is starting now. “Just be patient because everybody is going through a hard time.”AdWe asked Harris County Public Health about the cold storage failure and if they planned on making any changes moving forward.
Robert Kennedy Jr. banned from Instagram over false COVID vaccine claims
Robert Kennedy Jr., a prominent vaccine skeptic, has been banned from Instagram after posting false coronavirus vaccine claims. "We removed this account for repeatedly sharing debunked claims about the coronavirus or vaccines," a spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram, said in a statement to CBS News Thursday. While he was removed from Instagram, his Facebook page – where he has more than 300,000 followers – is littered with posts critical of COVID-19 vaccines. The social media giant shared an expanded list of false and dangerous claims about vaccines that will not be allowed on the platform. The nephew of President John F. Kennedy and son of former U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy has long been critical of vaccines.cbsnews.com
Polio survivors reflect on pandemic as they receive COVID-19 vaccine
HOUSTON – Memorial Hermann hospital has a special connection to polio survivors and wanted to ensure they were high on its list of patients to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The hospital first began treating polio survivors in the 1950′s and 1960′s, according to Dr. Gerard Francisco, chief medical officer at TIRR Memorial Hermann/ UTHealth. “Either because they got the polio before the vaccine was developed or when the vaccine was developed, they did not have access to it.”The TIRR post-polio clinic now treats polio survivors, like Rhonda Young of Kingwood. AdFull Screen Full Screen 1 / 6 Historical photos of polio patients being treated in the 1950s at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. AdDr. Francisco said polio survivors were among some of the hospital’s first patients vaccinated against COVID-19.
UPDATE: Vaccination slots filled at Memorial Hermann’s Saturday drive-thru COVID-19 clinic in Shenandoah
UPDATE: All accination slots have filled since Memorial Hermann opened 600 additional appointments for its Saturday COVID-19 vaccine drive-thru clinic at Woodforest Bank Stadium. The 600 additional appointments were claimed under an hour after Memorial Hermann announced they were available. Memorial Hermann announced it has an additional 600 spots available for its Saturday COVID-19 vaccine drive-thru clinic at Woodforest Bank Stadium. Memorial Hermann partnered with Montgomery County, the City of Shenandoah and Conroe Independent School District to host the clinic. Vaccine supply is limited and appointments will be scheduled on a first come, first served basis until the available appointments are full.
Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what happened Jan. 22 with COVID-19 in the Chicago area
J.B. Pritzker’s coronavirus reopening plan, state public health officials said Friday. Among other loosened rules, gyms and fitness centers would be allowed to reopen with 50% capacity limits and other public health precautions in place. Parents in Joliet Public School District 86 this week were notified of the decision by the district’s board of inspectors. In Chicago, public health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady has predicted most people will get their vaccines from their health care provider, pharmacy or employer. J.B. Pritzker’s coronavirus reopening plan, state public health officials said Friday.chicagotribune.com
Harris Health System canceling COVID vaccination appointments due to short supply
HOUSTON – The Harris Health System has found itself in a predicament as they expect to run out of their COVID-19 vaccine supply Friday. But, industry experts say the shortage will affect much more than Harris Health patients. Harris Health serves the uninsured and underinsured from low-income communities. For now, the final doses run out today with Harris Health unsure of when the next batch will arrive. Harris Health had been running seven vaccination sites but only ran one Friday.
Preregistration closed shortly after Fort Bend County receives 5,850 doses of COVID-19
RICHMOND, Texas – Preregistration for the COVID-19 has closed following Fort Bend County Judge KP George’s announcement that the county received a supply of 5,850 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from the Department of State Health Services Thursday. The county scheduled appointments for those who are currently preregistered with the Fort Bend County Health & Human Services. “I am glad to announce that Fort Bend County Health & Human Services (FBCHHS) received a supply of 5,850 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine today and will begin scheduling appointments for those who are currently Preregistered with us,” George said in a written release. Please follow updates on fbchealth.org.”Anyone with questions regarding preregistration, the COVID-19 vaccine or COVID-19 information in general, is asked to call the county’s Vaccination Hotline at 832-471-1373. “This is the way the process occurs, and we will move forward.”The state designated Ft. Bend County as a vaccine hub.
Can COVID-19 vaccines be mixed and matched?
Can COVID-19 vaccines be mixed and matched? The COVID-19 vaccines rolling out in the United States, the United Kingdom and other parts of the world so far require two shots given a few weeks apart. In the U.S. where Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are being distributed, health officials say the vaccines are not interchangeable. But without any studies, vaccine doses should not be mixed, said Naor Bar-Zeev, a vaccine expert at Johns Hopkins University. Read previous Viral Questions:Should I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I’ve had the virus?
’It is literally a drop in the bucket’: Fort Bend County Judge says he’s equally frustrated over wait for more COVID-19 vaccines
HOUSTON – Fort Bend County Judge KP George said he’s equally as frustrated as others waiting on COVID-19 vaccines. The county received about 1,000 doses last week but they’re already gone. The problem: The county needs more doses and it’s not alone. Still, Judge George is optimistic. He also said the county is ready to open four or five vaccine locations but it needs the doses to arrive first.
Frustration over access to vaccinations in Galveston County
GALVESTON, Texas – The COVID-19 vaccine hubs will soon open across Texas but not in Galveston County, at least not during the first round. The initial list includes three hubs in the Houston area; all three are located in Harris County. Between the vaccine allocation amounts so far and lack of a hub, Dr. Keiser said he doesn’t want the state to forget about people in his county. Dr. Keiser said the Galveston County Health District has only received 600 doses so far. In a statement, Galveston County is encouraging residents who want the vaccine to call the state and ask that more doses be sent to the county.
Hillcroft physicians clinic still waiting to receive COVID-19 vaccine after being approved by DSHS several weeks ago
She said the clinic has not received the COVID-19 vaccine after being approved by the Department of State Health Services several weeks ago. Farizani said a lot of her patients work at grocery stores, restaurants, they drive school buses and work in cafeterias. The clinic has been working hard since the start of the pandemic and now they’re faced with a difficult roadblock. She said she can’t understand why the Department of State Health Services has not provided them with the vaccine after she says they were approved many weeks ago. Farizani said the community needs the vaccine to protect themselves and their families from the deadly virus.
What you need to know about new scam related to COVID-19 vaccine, according to the FBI
HOUSTON – The FBI and other government agencies are warning people against a new scam that has emerged related to the coronavirus vaccine. FBI warns people about COVID-19 vaccine scam. Don’t share your personal or health information with anyone other than known and trusted medical professionals. Check your medical bills and insurance explanation of benefits (EOBs) for any suspicious claims and promptly reporting any errors to your health insurance provider. Never provide personal information of any sort via email; be aware that many emails requesting your personal information may appear to be legitimate.
Column: Why rush teachers and students back into classrooms now, CPS? Widespread COVID-19 vaccination is on the horizon.
Vaccines have arrived, and more are on the way. Illinois has already administered around 126,000. Britain on Wednesday gave emergency authorization to another coronavirus vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford. Developers are calling it the “vaccine for the world” because it’s significantly cheaper per dose than other vaccines and can be shipped and stored at normal refrigeration temperatures.chicagotribune.com
First doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered at Houston’s Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center
HOUSTON – The first doses of the coronavirus vaccine at Houston’s Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center are set to be administered on Wednesday. “We’re all very excited and we’re definitely ready to get rolling,” said Dr. Prathit Kulkarni, assistant chief of the medical care line. The hospital received just under 3,000 doses, which will first go to frontline workers helping COVID-19 patients and veterans in the long-term care facility called the community living center, he said. “Ultimately the plan will be to do all veterans and all staff, that’s the long-range ultimate goal,” Kulkarni said. The Houston facility expects to receive more shipments in the near future so people who get vaccinated now can receive the second dose in a couple of weeks.
What we know about the COVID-19 vaccines so far
Nearly a year since the coronavirus disease was first reported in Wuhan, China, vaccines are now being approved for distribution around the world. First administered: If approved, the AstraZeneca vaccine could possibly be availble by late December or early 2021, according to BioSpace. All rights reserved)Effectiveness rate: According to Moderna, mRNA-1273 is 94.1% effective against COVID-19. All rights reserved)Effectiveness rate: According to Pfizer, its analysis shows BNT162b2 is 95% effective against COVID-19 beginning 28 days after the first dose. First administered: The vaccine was first administered to a 90-year-old woman on Tuesday, Dec. 8 in the United Kingdom.
Chicago officials outline initial coronavirus vaccine distribution plans: ‘We are very ready for the vaccine as it comes’
“We are wanting to make sure that people are aware of that so that if they experience some of those symptoms, or all of them, that they don’t think that something’s wrong but instead understand that is an effect of the vaccine, and expect it to be even more significant with this second dose as opposed to the first,” she said. “We want to include that in our messaging, we want providers to be aware of that so that they can give the proper anticipatory guidance to people so they know what to expect.”chicagotribune.com
Trust Index: Answers about the COVID-19 vaccine
According to the health experts, that means getting the first vaccine available to you. One viewer asked KPRC 2 to confirm whether the government is using the vaccine as a form of control, specifically for female sterilization. “This vaccine has undergone very rigorous testing, it has been tested on a minimum of 35,000 people so we know a great deal about its side effects,” Dr. Philip said. KPRC 2 Health Reporter Haley Hernandez will be tracking some key dates concerning the vaccine over the next few days and weeks. On Dec. 17th, the FDA meets to decide on an “emergency use authorization” for the Moderna vaccine.
Chicago-area vaccination sites will be at hospitals, clinics, pharmacies — but also drive-thrus at schools, parks and maybe Six Flags
If the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves the first vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna this month, the first vaccinations could be given as early as mid-December, officials said. Shots for the broader public likely would not be available until well into next year. But experts believe this is the way society will stop a virus that has crippled the economy and been a factor in the deaths of more than 275,000 people in the United States.chicagotribune.com
Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Officials plead with residents to skip Thanksgiving gatherings as 11,378 new cases and 155 more deaths reported Wednesday
Lightfoot also reiterated that the city is working on how it will distribute COVID-19 vaccines when they become available. Who gets the vaccine first and the order thereafter will be determined by federal rules, she said, but the city already has a robust system for distributing vaccines. Initially it’ll be healthcare workers getting the vaccine. It’ll later be followed by high-risk individuals, but all adults should be able to get vaccines sometime in 2021, she said.chicagotribune.com
Here’s how Houston is planning to distribute COVID-19 vaccines
HOUSTON – Houston’s chief medical officer said hospitals will be the first facilities in the area to receive a coronavirus vaccine once it’s available locally. “We’ll be protecting healthcare workers, but in particular these are healthcare workers who are in the practice of caring for COVID positive patients,” Dr. David Persse said on Monday. “We’ll be prioritizing those communities that have increased risk and less availability due to all kinds of healthcare inequities,” Persse said. The list includes healthcare workers, frontline workers and people in vulnerable populations who are at greater risk of severe disease and death if they contract COVID-19. The health department expects to receive the vaccines from the manufacturer, Persse said.
Local experts explain how Houstonians could benefit from Pfizer vaccine
“This is one of the most significant medical advances in the last 100 years,” Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO, said. El Sahly actually oversees the Moderna trial for Baylor College of Medicine. Americans will receive the vaccine for free consistent with the U.S. government’s commitment for free access for COVID-19 vaccines." Some infectious disease experts, including Dr. Peter Hotez with Baylor College of Medicine, believe the first vaccine available may not be the one that’s proven most effective in the long run. “I’m often asked the question, ‘hey Dr. Hotez which vaccine are you waiting for?’ That’s the wrong question I’m not waiting for anything,” Hotez explained.
Stronger Houston: Working to recruit more minorities for vaccine trials
HOUSTON – A couple of big-name frontrunners in the race for a coronavirus vaccine, Moderna and Pfizer, began part of their experimental trial here in Houston. Black and Hispanic communities are not signing up for vaccine trialsAccording to the Texas Center for Drug Development, less than 8% of the participants in the vaccine trial in Houston are Black. “That’s why this is such an important part of making that happen," said Dr. Veronica Garcia Fragoso, senior clinical research investigator. In the Tuskegee study, researchers were only studying black men and they were not transparent with their study. “We value the time and travel,"said Dr. Lisa Holloway, clinical research investigator with TCDD.
Top execs of 9 companies testing coronavirus vaccines sign pledge to focus on safety, high standards
The top executives of nine drugmakers likely to produce the first vaccines against the new coronavirus signed an unprecedented pledge meant to boost public confidence in any approved vaccines. Meanwhile, public health officials have expressed doubt that adequate data on vaccine safety and effectiveness would be available before November. BioNTech has partnered with Pfizer on one of the three vaccines now in the final round of human testing. The country already has a small, but vocal, group of “anti-vaxxers” who oppose giving their children the many standard vaccines. They added that extra transparency on testing results and the approval process is needed.