BEAUMONT, Texas — While some Southeast Texas clinics are seeing more of the community getting vaccinated, some say they still have plenty of unused COVID-19 vaccines available.
The highly contagious Delta variant is what has been driving the majority of unvaccinated Southeast Texans to get vaccinated, health officials said
“With the seriousness of the Delta variant being out in the news, we're starting to see an increase in the number of people wanting to be vaccinated,” Kenneth Coleman Sr., Beaumont health director, said.
The average patient age at Coleman’s clinic has been dropping he said.
“On July 23, this is Jefferson County, we had 17 percent of kids ages 12 to 15 years old receive at least one dose,” Coleman said. “But as of July 30, that number has increased to 20 percent.”
In Port Arthur communities, health officials said they are beginning to see parts of the community who were once hesitant showing up to get the shot.
“We have seen quite a bit of the African American and Hispanic community coming in,” Judith Smith, Port Arthur health director, said.
Health officials are beginning to see a revolving door of people rolling up their sleeves, Smith said.
“We are starting to see well over 100 people a day,” she said.
Not every Southeast Texas city is seeing an increase in vaccination rates.
A few months ago, Lumberton clinics had long lines when vaccines first rolled out. Now, even as case counts continue to climb, Judge Wayne McDaniel said the city is only vaccinating eight to 10 people a day.
As local clinics get back to being all hands-on deck, they are encouraging the community to do their part to slow the spread
"The vaccine is the best tool that we have available to us to beat this virus,” Kenneth Coleman said.
For those who plan to get vaccinated at the Beaumont Health Department, they will need to schedule an appointment first.