More than 80,000 invitations to make appointments across all county vaccination sites went out Friday morning to people on the county waitlist.
“It is important to know that we have eight sites identified across the county to really address any transportation issues people may have not wanting to drive across the county, since our county is so large,” said Jennifer Kiger, Harris County Public Health’s Incident Commander for the Public Health Response for COVID-19.
Harris County started using the mobile vaccination sites in late December and changes the locations each week.
Kiger says they’ve added more sites as they’ve gone along.
“We’re gonna stop at (eight sites) because now we can really cover the entire county with those eight sites, where drive time is around 30 minutes or less across the county,” she said.
Kiger says they’re trying to reach underserved groups who are most vulnerable to COVID-19. That means working with community partners to help people without Internet access register for the vaccine waitlist and schedule appointments.
Harris County is also partnering with Houston METRO and METROLift to help people get to those appointments.
“We’re going into the community and providing vaccines in community centers or at congregate settings,” said Kiger. “That’s what we’re gonna roll out soon once we can get all the details figured out.”
Kiger said Harris County received their second shipment of their next 6,000 Johnson & Johnson doses on Friday morning, earlier than expected. She says that will allow her team to start planning vaccinations for 6,000 more people.
Houston Health Department also received 6,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine in their initial allotment. They began vaccinating people with appointments Thursday at a fixed site.
HHD operates a separate waitlist for eligible people wanting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. As of Friday afternoon, it had closed after receiving more than 14,000 signups, half of whom have received appointment invitations.
The City of Houston’s waitlist for the two-dose Moderna and Pfizer vaccines remains open at here.