Nobody at Kashmere High School wanted to be late on Saturday morning as a dozen families lined up in front of campus half an hour before campus began delivering COVID vaccines for 12 and older children and other vaccines needed by school age children before school starts in the coming weeks.
Lynette Petithomme, an already vaccinated nurse, was among those requesting a vaccination for her 15-year-old daughter Uriah Larry, who attended virtual school last year. While Larry can wear masks and take safety precautions, the teen cannot control the actions of others seated around them during face-to-face lessons.
“The same reason I did it because I was on the front line and had exposure is the same reason I said I got them vaccinated.
She is concerned that given the surge in delta variant cases, people are not taking COVID-19 seriously enough. While vaccinated people might not develop as many symptoms when they contract the virus, they could still pass it on to others, she said.
DeAngela Vann came to Kashmere for her second dose because she wanted to stay healthy for her three elementary school children, especially because they are too young to be vaccinated. She hopes that younger children can soon be vaccinated too.
The HISD board is to vote this week on the implementation of a new mask mandate. Vann said she supported the measure as COVID-19 cases are on the rise and people may appear healthy but carry and transmit the virus.
In the Dogan Primary School, about 25 people registered for the vaccination in the first half hour of the event. Organizations like the Houston Food Bank and Gustavia Pearls Women’s Outreach have teamed up to provide local families with food and school supplies while encouraging them to get vaccinated.
“We want them to be safe when they go back to school. We want their families to feel safe when they go to school and come home. Teachers and faculty members also need to be on the safe side, ”said Dwantrina Russell, founder of Gustavia Pearls.
Nursing home worker Jason Roberts went to Kashmere with his 13-year-old son Jayvon to put together the COVID vaccine. He called the recording “doing the right thing”.
“Just do it, you know, for yourself and for your family,” he said.
The remaining “Super Saturday” vaccination campaigns are planned for August 14th, 21st and 28th.
A list of vaccination centers every Saturday can be found here.