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'Wrong direction' | HISD superintendent discusses COVID-19 concerns as families continue to weigh vaccinations

One HISD mother said she let her two teenagers decide for themselves about getting vaccinations.

HOUSTON — Houston Independent School District superintendent Millard House II was among those attending a weekend vaccination event organized by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee.

He shared his own message concerning COVID-19 afterward.

"As you all know, we’re seeing a raise, or a rise, in the wrong direction most recently,” House said in a video shot by HISD.

House said the district is working closely with health authorities as it plans for a full capacity fall semester on Aug. 23 without a mask mandate, due to state guidelines, but with added cleaning and other protocols.

RELATED: Houston ISD superintendent outlines COVID protocols heading into the new school year

A detailed reopening roadmap remains in the works.

"It’s important for our community to understand that we take very seriously the health and safety of our students, staff and community members," House said. "To ensure that we have a strong and healthy start to our school year.”

HISD previously pulled the plug on its COVID-19 case dashboard and will deactivate its Communicable Disease Plan on Aug. 2. A special committee will continue to meet. Meanwhile, like other districts, HISD can only encourage, but not require, vaccinations.

“I made it their choice, you know?” HISD mother Karina Villareal said.

She said her two teenagers both decided to give it a shot.

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"Both my kids are into math and science so they read what the vaccine contained," Villareal said. "And, yeah, they didn’t hesitate.”

Villareal said the vaccine will provide added peace of mind when her boys return to school along with more than 200,000 other HISD students and staff members.

We also spoke with a couple of other HISD families in which eligible children decided not to get the vaccination either because they’re worried about side effects or haven’t had time.

It could be mid-winter by the time kids under 12 qualify to receive the vaccine.