COVID-19 cases are continuing to decline in Harris County, but people are still getting sick and dying from the virus and now the Delta variant is here too. Harris County Public Health (HCPH) has more than a dozen Delta variant cases and not one of them was vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccine is also very effective against the Delta variant. Since this variant is much more contagious than COVID-19, there are likely many more undiagnosed cases in our community. Half of Harris County’s residents are not vaccinated.
Unvaccinated people are not only at risk for both diseases, but if they have contact with young children, they are putting them at risk too. Children under the age of 12 can’t be vaccinated. The hope for a normal summer and a healthy start to the upcoming school year depends on how many more people get vaccinated to protect against the double threat of COVID-19 and the Delta variant.
COVID-19 vaccine and testing sites were closed yesterday, but they are open the rest of the week. HCPH recommends all adults be vaccinated and encourages parents to get their 12-17 year-old children vaccinated. Twelve to 17-year-olds are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine. They must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to be vaccinated or bring a consent form signed by their parent or guardian. Consent forms are at vacstrac.hctx.net.
Adults over the age of 17 can choose from three vaccines: the one-dose Johnson & Johnson and the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Vaccinations are free at HCPH sites throughout Harris County and no appointment is needed. To find one near you, click here. If you prefer to make an appointment, go to vacstrac.hctx.net or call 832-927-8787.
Parents with children under 12 should get them tested frequently to see if they have COVID-19. If they are infected, parents can monitor them to make sure they don’t develop serious symptoms and keep them isolated so they don’t infect others. Testing is free, quick at HCPH sites and results come back in 48 hours. No appointments are needed, click here to find a site near you or call 832-927-7575.