As demand for COVID-19 vaccinations falls off in Galveston County, public health officials are starting to abide by a new mantra:

If the people aren’t coming for the vaccines, bring the vaccines to the people.

Galveston County’s vaccination hub at Walter Hall Park in League City will provide pre-scheduled vaccinations to people for the last time on Saturday and then be shut down for good, officials said.

The hub has been symbolic of vaccination efforts in the county, helping to vaccinate tens of thousands of people in just over three months and helping to fully inoculate 38 percent of county residents older than 16 years of age as of Thursday.

The end of the hub doesn’t mean vaccinations are ending in the county. Instead, efforts will move to smaller venues.

Some of those venues are expected.

For instance, the Galveston County Health District in Texas City will open a permanent one-day-a-week vaccine clinic in its offices going forward. The clinic is mostly focused on getting second-dose Moderna vaccines to people who may have missed an appointment elsewhere, but it also will offer first doses to people who want them.

But vaccines also are appearing in unexpected places, like on board a replica of the Santa Maria, one of the ships that Christopher Columbus used to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

On Thursday, the University of Texas Medical Branch’s Center for Violence Prevention delivered a batch of vaccines to the ship, a floating museum that is making a stop at the Port of Galveston. The center, in partnership with the Galveston County Health District, held a pop-up vaccine clinic to get doses of Moderna vaccines to people who work in and around the port.

Fishermen, shrimpers and ship crewmen were invited to get vaccinated at the Galveston Seafarers Center in the morning.

The event was designed to appeal to people who might have had excuses to not get in line for a vaccine yet. The center provided translators and vaccine information in multiple languages and didn’t ask for identifications as part of its process.

“We’ve been outreaching for a couple of weeks now, going to the docks, going to the port, letting people know they can come here,” said Shannon Guillot-Wright, the center’s director of health policy research. “There’s no ID required, they didn’t need to register. Basically, we were just trying to take away the barriers.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded the event.

Like many local vaccination efforts of late, the demand for a shot was slow. In the first half hour of the event, only about five people walked into the downtown Galveston building.

So, when the team of vaccinators learned that the crew of the Nao Santa Maria wanted vaccinations, the team lugged a cooler of shots over to the dock.

It’s not the first time that the health district’s team had hit the bricks to deliver vaccines. At times recently, nurses have gone to door to door through business parks in Friendswood and other communities, offering people a chance to get a shot, out of the blue.

The reception to those offers have been mixed, officials said. Many people have indicated they’ve already been vaccinated. Others have admitted they’re just not interested in getting the vaccinations that were once in such high demand.

There are widespread reports about why people might avoid the vaccines, either because of politics or distrust or a lack of information, said Dr. Philip Keiser, Galveston County’s local health authority.

Lower-vaccinated communities in Galveston County don’t fit into a pat explanation about politics, Keiser said.

While some lower-vaccinated neighborhoods can be found in west Galveston County, where voters are traditionally more conservative, vaccination rates also are lower than average in bluer areas, like the east side of Texas City or neighborhoods north of Broadway in Galveston.

“The number of people who are getting the vaccines has dwindled,” Keiser said. “We don’t just want to give up. What we’re trying to do is find those places that are either in need or have not turned out and have a bunch of small things.”

But small events means slower progress on getting vaccination numbers up to the 70 percent or higher vaccination rate officials hope to eventually achieve. Health officials have lowered their goals on what a good day looks like in terms of getting shots into arms, Keiser said.

“If we get 100 people, that’s great,” Keiser said. “But every day we have to be somewhere, doing something.”

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; or on Twitter @johnwferguson.


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(7) comments

Bailey Jones

Vaccine hesitancy, or vaccine indifference, coupled with relaxed COVID protocols is a dangerous mix. We've seen the results in Michigan and the northwest where spikes have occurred, and new restrictions being implemented. India is in crisis, the healthcare system there has collapsed.

We need more than 70% of county residents to get vaccinated. Anything short of that simply prolongs the pandemic and increases the risk of a vaccine-resistant mutant arising. Getting vaccinated is quick and simple - just do it.

Mary Lofaro


Wayne D Holt

Vaccine hesitancy? Gee, I can't imagine why.

The CDC announced this week that deaths reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), a U.S. Government funded database that tracks injuries and deaths caused by vaccines, following experimental COVID injections, have now reached 3,486 deaths since December of 2020, when the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA COVID shots were given emergency use authorization (EUA) by the FDA. There were only 3,445 deaths reported to the CDC following all vaccines from 1/1/2005 through 11/30/2020, the 15-year period prior. The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) on injuries and deaths reports after people take one of the three COVID vaccines that have received Emergency Use Authorization in the U.S.

In the EU, suspected drug reactions are reported to EudraVigilance, which also tracks reports of injuries and deaths following the experimental COVID vaccines. The latest EudraVigilance data on reports of COVID vaccine-related injuries and death found — as of April 17 — 7,766 reports of deaths and 330,218 reports of injuries following injections of the four COVID vaccines approved for emergency use in the EU: Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, marketed under the Janssen brand. Cardiac and blood/lymphatic disorders were among the most commonly reported injuries.

So just in the US, more adverse reactions to the Covid-19 emergency regimen in four months than all other immunization problems in the previous 15-year record. And Europe fared even worse, more than doubling our rate.

It's not indifference; it's just that the low information recipient pool is pretty much exhausted and what is left are the folks who either did their research and understand what a complete and utter fraud and medical tragedy this is, or simply don't trust Big Pharma and the federal government, a wholly owned subsidiary of BP, to tell the truth when profits are involved.

What kind of profits? And estimated $157 BILLION cottage industry convincing people that they need to be part of an "investigational study"--that is how these products self-describe--using injectables that likely will permanently alter their genetic structure in ways no one has a clue will turn out.

"Getting vaccinated is quick and simple." So is shooting yourself in the head. But neither one is a solution a sane person should consider.

You are now seeing some of the most prestigious, and courageous, researchers worldwide say a terrible mistake has been made in rushing into these genetic snake oil toxins. If you haven't taken the shot, consider what you are risking by doing so based on the FACTS. If you have taken one or more, look up the specific symptom profile of the most prevalent of the reactions and seek medical care if you begin to experience them. People are dying from this madness at rates we have never seen before in vaccination history.

Bailey Jones

I assume the report you're half quoting is this one:

"Over 230 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the United States from December 14, 2020, through April 26, 2021. During this time, VAERS received 3,848 reports of death (0.0017%) among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine. CDC and FDA physicians review each case report of death as soon as notified and CDC requests medical records to further assess reports.

"A review of available clinical information including death certificates, autopsy, and medical records revealed no evidence that vaccination contributed to patient deaths.

"CDC and FDA will continue to investigate reports of adverse events, including deaths, reported to VAERS."

It's curious how you have spent the last year denying that 600,000 COVID deaths were actually related to COVID (in spite of medical evidence to the contrary), but you're absolutely certain that 3,445 deaths occurring among > 100,000,000 Americans were due to the vaccine (in spite of medical evidence to the contrary).

You've lost all credibility with me, Wayne. Actually, that happened months ago. I just thought I'd check in and see if things had changed at all.

Wayne D Holt

Curious that you would accept every report of a "Covid death" as gospel even though the CDC admitted roughly eight out of 10 died WITH Covid and not OF Covid. You also had to ignore the huge financial incentive medical facilities had to determine it was Covid caused despite not doing autopsies on most of them, that Big Pharma stands to make an estimated $157 BILLION through Covid shots (we're hearing three now plus boosters) and the fact that folks are in an "investigational study" (read: Experiment) not a treatment program when they take the shot. And you believe every press release and outpouring of BS that oozes from those sources.

The fact I've lost credibility with you is irrelevant to me because you've hyped so much malarkey over the past year on this issue that I would be crestfallen if you found otherwise. If the situation had turned out like your panicked shilling predicted it would last summer, we would be stacking dead like cord wood on the Seawall.

You're so very naive, Bailey. The fact that you rushed to embrace an experimental genetic modifier that you have ZERO understanding of for long-term impact--not your fault, the makers of it don't even know--shows a touching sentimentality when it comes to gulping government Kool-Aid.

You actually think that what goes on at the top reflects unselfish attempts to help us thrive. Oh my...losing credibility runs a distant second to losing touch with reality like that.

Carlos Ponce

The illegals aren't vaccinating. They found a house (12200 Chessington Drive) in Houston, Texas today with 91 illegals, many showing symptoms of being infected with the Chinese virus.

"Authorities investigating a reported kidnapping Friday came upon an alleged human smugglers' house holding more than 90 migrants, some with Covid-19 symptoms, Houston police said.

'We’ve already had some people in the house tell us they’re not able to smell, and they’re not able to taste," [Assistant Chief Daryn] Edwards said.' "

"The home owner told local media that he had rented the house out to a male." according to The Daily Beast.

Ted Gillis

Well let’s just pray that “the male” who rented the house is vaccinated!

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