Texas State Health Department in Amarillo to encourage COVID-19 vaccine

VIDEO: Texas State Health Department in Amarillo to encourage COVID-19 vaccine

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - In an effort to encourage more Texans to get the COVID-19 vaccine, the state’s health department has hit the road to host pop up events in 24 different Texas cities.

Now that we have enough supply to vaccinate everyone eligible for the vaccine, demand appears to be dropping.

Which is why, this campaign the department has launched, is aimed at those groups who have the highest rates of vaccine hesitancy, such as people of color.

If you were at the Walmart near I-40 and grand Monday afternoon, you might have caught the pop-up video wall set up in the parking lot.

The video features a variety of local leaders and health experts talking about the efficacy of vaccines and answering frequently asked questions about it.

“The piece I think we all missed, as the general public and myself included and I had to really educate myself is really understanding that medical research did exist and has really been out there and that is what we have leveraged to bring a vaccine to market so quickly,” said Mercy Murguia, Potter County commissioner Precinct 2.

The event seemed to garner some attention, as people getting in and out of their cars stopped to briefly watch the video playing. Others drove by it and rolled their window to see what was going on.

“The genius of this project, of this event, is that we are really hitting a diverse array of places. Different communities, different populations, as many people as we can get in front of, we are reaching out for,” said Robert Santiago, Pop-Up tour coordinator, Texas Department of State Health Services.

In Randall County, 32 percent of the population is fully vaccinated, but only 1.5 percent are Black, 11 percent are Hispanic, and nearly two percent are Asian.

In Potter County, 27 percent of the population is fully vaccinated, four percent are Black, nearly 24 percent are Hispanic, and 3.8 percent are Asian.

Some of these are also groups that were affected by COVID-19 at higher rates than their counterparts.

“Just look at your own household. there tend to be more family members that live in one house. We usually do not have a second floor that you can quarantine to, you usually don’t have a private bathroom that you can use. So, by default, you spread the virus,” said Murguia.

At this moment, the campaign does not have plans to stop in any other areas of the Panhandle, and expects to get through all 24 selected cities around mid May.

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