AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) are hosting a pop-up event, highlighting the importance of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to a news release from the Texas DSHS, the event, which will occur at 12 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24, at the Walmart location at 5730 W. Amarillo Blvd., will include a display that will feature the department’s public service announcements from local doctors and community members about the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine and reasons why individuals 12 years and older should get it. The event will also include activities such as an arcade-style “Take the Shot” basketball game, wheel spin and prizes.
Additionally, DSHS said those attending who would like to receive the vaccine can do so by walking into the Walmart and getting the shot with no appointment, insurance, or ID necessary.
“COVID-19 vaccines prevent almost all cases of severe illness, hospitalization, and death,” Valerie Smith, a member of the Texas Medical Association COVID-19 task force, said in the release. “With the more contagious Delta variant having caused a spike in hospitalizations among unvaccinated individuals in all age groups, it’s more important than ever to talk to your doctor, pharmacist or other health care professional about your questions or concerns.”
According to a previous news release from the Texas DSHS, the department’s new ads feature residents throughout the state telling their stories about receiving their COVID-19 vaccination. They are expected to run on television, radio, online and on social media.
“In them, Texans from across the state describe in their own words’ their initial hesitance to COVID-19 vaccination along with how and why they eventually decided to get vaccinated,” the release stated.
The series of pop-up events throughout the state focus on smaller communities as well as rural areas where COVID-19 vaccination rates have been lower, the release stated. More than 32 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been given to 17.5 million people throughout the state. According to the release, 63% of individuals 12 and older throughout the state are fully vaccinated.
“Any Texan who has not been vaccinated against COVID-19 because of safety or other concerns can be assured that the authorized vaccines are safe and effective,” John Hellerstedt, the DSHS commissioner, said in the release. “The data gathered shows the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks of rare side effects. Most importantly, vaccination is proven to greatly increase our protection against severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalization and even death.”
For more information, visit covidvaccine.texas.gov.