HOUSTON — The city of Houston is working day-by-day to improve its COVID vaccination process.
With the shipment of more vaccines from the state, the city is on track with vaccinating thousands of more people this week, including administering the second dose of the vaccine.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the Houston Health Department has received a total of 18,600 second doses of the COVID vaccine and will be administering those doses to nearly 12,000 Houstonians this week.
Health department officials stressed that those who are waiting to get their second dose, to not call their office to schedule an appointment. Officials said someone will be calling you to schedule an appointment within 48 hours of the time you're supposed to receive your second dose.
Turner said he received his second vaccine dose on Saturday. He said besides his arm being a little sore, things went well.
"Everybody needs the vaccine, Turner said. "We certainly want everyone in our city to get it. That's the only way we're going to achieve the herd immunity and we want to make sure it's equitably distributed."
Turner mentioned during a press conference Monday that although the city is ramping up its efforts to get residents vaccinated, this shouldn't discourage people from constantly getting tested because the "virus is still very much within our community."
On Monday, the city reported 1,089 new cases of COVID, bringing the city's total to 158,751 cases. The city's death toll due to the virus stands at 1,784.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Persse said hospitalizations and positivity rates in the city are starting to level off. Metrics are even showing that the positivity rate may be starting to go down.
"We may be on the downside of this second wave," Persse said.
Although this is good news, Turner and Persse stress that Houstonians need to continue to wear masks, social distance and get tested frequently.
Turner said with the success of the HOPE vaccination site this past weekend, the city plans on opening up another vaccine community clinic this weekend.
The city is focusing on putting this clinic in high-risk, vulnerable communities.