Diverse Communities receive Vaccinations from Texas Familias Council

By: Margie Taylor
| Published 08/04/2021


MONTGOMERY COUNTY, TX -- he large stadium vaccination sites in Montgomery County reached thousands of people in the early months of 2021. Demand diminished as less people chose to receive their Covid 19 vaccinations. There is now a serious fourth wave of Covid 19 with the Delta Variant striking those unvaccinated especially hard. Texas and Florida account for one third of cases in the nation, as the virus continues to spread rapidly in local communities.

The economic impact of public health is very real, and we continue to see the impact as prices for goods rise, and our labor force numbers fluctuate with fluctuations of illness. Public health is directly tied to a strong economy, and more importantly to stable families.

For the Texas Familias Council, this interdependence is critical to the overall wellbeing of a community. Montgomery County Food Bank and Abundant Harvest Kitchen’s partnership with the Council this past year and a half brought nourishment to stricken families in hard to reach parts of Montgomery County. With the Delta variant of Covid 19, there is another wave targeting vulnerable communities, so the race is on to protect as many families as possible.

African American and Latino communities have been disproportionately stricken by the Covid 19 pandemic. Many are front line workers, and have existing health conditions that have not received proper healthcare attention. These factors, along with cultural social behaviors, have placed these communities at a higher risk of suffering serious consequences from Covid 19. The call to action for the Texas Familias Council has been to continue outreach in these diverse communities and focus on stabilizing families.

The State of Texas implemented a vaccination program to offer Covid 19 vaccinations within communities. The Mobile Vaccination Team Call Center was set up a few months ago to mitigate the spread of Covid 19 in Texas. Groups of 10 or more are encouraged to set up a vaccination clinic managed by the Texas Division of Emergency Management and administered by the Texas Military Department. A community group or employer can call 844-90-TEXAS and select option 3 to register for a vaccination site with either Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson and Johnson vaccines.

On July 31 the Texas Familias Council held its first community-based vaccination drive with the Pfizer vaccine for 12 years and older in the far East community of Kings Colony. The working-class community of Kings Colony tragically suffered several losses from Covid 19. Forty-four residents, including many children preparing to return to school, received their first dose in their vehicles from the Texas National Guard.

On August 3 a second site reached 52 residents of the Deerwood community outside of Conroe. The Texas Familias Council and Deerwood volunteers promoted the effort, provided supportive services, and spoke with mothers and fathers about their questions and concerns.

A third site in Liberty County will be held at the Santa Fe Administration Building on August 6. The Council has built trust through disaster recovery in recent years, and these relationships are key in reaching more families during this pandemic. One elderly woman walked to the site asking for a vaccination because her husband refused to get one, and she didn’t drive. She walked down the street and received her vaccine.
There is an urgency for local community resource providers to see the efforts expanded. When a family member is stricken by Covid 19, the whole family will need support to stabilize past the missed work, missed school, unpaid bills, and sometimes long-term physical and mental recovery from illness. While we are still learning to mitigate Covid 19, and the prominent Delta variant, the CDC reports that 97% of Covid 19 related hospitalizations are unvaccinated patients. The Council is urging vaccinations and mask wearing in indoor group gatherings until risk is minimized.

Maria Baños Jordan is the Founder and President of the Texas Familias Council, established in 2011 to strengthen families and inspire inclusive communities. . To get involved call (832)527-7251.

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