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COVID-19 vaccination rates for Blacks and Hispanics in Central Texas lower than for whites

COVID-19 vaccination rates for Black and Hispanic Central Texas residents are generally lower...
COVID-19 vaccination rates for Black and Hispanic Central Texas residents are generally lower than those for whites. (AP photo/file)(AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)
Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 7:02 PM CDT
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KWTX) – More than 267,000 or 36% of Central Texas residents 16 and older have received one dose of vaccine and almost 204,000 or more than 27% are fully vaccinated, but state data show that vaccination rates for whites are generally higher than for Black and Hispanic residents in the region.

State vaccination counts, which include a significant number of residents whose race is either unknown or classified as “other,” show more than 29% of white residents in the 16 Central Texas counties KWTX is tracking have received one dose and more than 23% are fully vaccinated while just more than 23% of Hispanics have received one dose and just more than 16% are fully vaccinated, and 30% of Black residents have received one dose and about 20% are fully vaccinated. The race of more than 27,000 of those who received a first dose was listed as unknown and nearly 15,400 were classified as “other.”

Asians, although they represent a small portion of the region’s population, have the highest vaccination rates. Almost 79% have received one dose and more than 60% are fully vaccinated.

Former Waco resident Sophia Strother is opening her Black owned and operated health clinic, Meraki Medical Associates, on Dunbar Avenue in East Waco on June 1 in hopes of helping to close the gap by offering the vaccine to underserved Black and Hispanic communities.

“We thought that by having someone that comes from your community, is embedded in your community and looks like you, you might just shed down one barrier that comes with that mistrust. And then also just speaking truth to it, we understand your concerns trust me we understand your concerns,” Strother said.

“Historically especially in the African American community we have had several examples of the science and medical community taking advantage of our community in regard to the Tuskegee experiment and various other examples that we have,” Strother said.

She also plans to operate a mobile clinic to serve minority and rural communities across the state, partnering with Black and Hispanic organizations for outreach.

Strother is looking to fill nursing and medical staff positions with minority to help with the comfort level of those she’s trying to reach.

Sophia Strother is opening her Black owned and operated health clinic next to the church she...
Sophia Strother is opening her Black owned and operated health clinic next to the church she used to attend.(Courtesy photo)

In Bell County, where more than 85,600 or about 31.4% of eligible residents have received one dose and a little more than 63,400 or about 23% are fully vaccinated, about 25% of the county’s white residents, just more than 12% of the county’s Hispanic residents and 11% of the county’s Black residents are fully vaccinated. The race of almost 14,790 of the fully vaccinated was either unknown or classified as “other.”

In McLennan County, where more than 85,400 or 42.5% of eligible residents have received a first dose and almost 67,200 or about than 33.5% are fully vaccinated, about 34% of the county’s white residents, 18% of the county’s Hispanic residents and 19% of the county’s Black residents are fully vaccinated. The race of almost 11,990 of the fully vaccinated was either unknown or classified as “other.”

Data Monday from the state vaccination dashboard showed more than 5,250 or 34.5% of residents 16 and older in Bosque County are fully vaccinated. About 29% of the county’s white residents, 14% of the county’s Hispanic residents and 14% of the county’s Black residents are fully vaccinated, according to DSHS data. The race of about 1,380 of the fully vaccinated was either unknown or classified as “other.”

In Coryell County, where more than 11,200 or 18.5% of eligible residents are fully vaccinated, about 19% of the county’s white residents, 9% of the county’s Hispanic residents and 8% of the county’s Black residents are fully vaccinated, according to DSHS data. The race of about 2,350 of the fully vaccinated was either unknown or classified as “other.”

In Falls County, where more than 3,500 or 25.2% of residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated, about 21% of the county’s white residents, 9% of the county’s Hispanic residents and 16% of the county’s Black residents are fully vaccinated, according to DSHS data. The race of about 935 of the fully vaccinated was either unknown or classified as “other.”

in Freestone County, where more than 3,400 or 21.8% or eligible residents are fully vaccinated, about 22% of the county’s white residents, 9% of the county’s Hispanic residents and 16% of the county’s Black residents are fully vaccinated, according to DSHS data. The race of about 515 of the fully vaccinated was either unknown or classified as “other.”

In Hamilton County, where more than 2,600 or 38.3% of eligible residents are fully vaccinated about 32% of the county’s white residents, 17% of the county’s Hispanic residents and 7% of the county’s Black residents are fully vaccinated, according to DSHS data. The race of about 650 of the fully vaccinated was either unknown or classified as “other.”

In Hill County, where more than 8,550 or 29.3% of residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated 29% of the county’s white residents, 15% of the county’s Hispanic residents and 14% of the county’s Black residents are fully vaccinated, according to DSHS data. The race of about 1,440 of the fully vaccinated was either unknown or classified as “other.”

In Lampasas County, where more than 4,800 or 27.7% of eligible residents are fully vaccinated 21% of the county’s white residents, 13% of the county’s Hispanic residents and 9% of the county’s Black residents are fully vaccinated, according to DSHS data. The race of about 1,535 of the fully vaccinated was either unknown or classified as “other.”

In Leon County, where about 5,000 or 29.4% of residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated, 35% of the county’s white residents, 8% of the county’s Hispanic residents and 10% of the county’s Black residents are fully vaccinated, according to DSHS data. The race of about 695 of the fully vaccinated was either unknown or classified as “other.”

In Limestone County, where more than 4,700 or 25.2% are residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated, 17% of the county’s white residents, 15% of the county’s Hispanic residents and 35% of the county’s Black residents are fully vaccinated, according to DSHS data. The race of about 1,300 of the fully vaccinated was either unknown or classified as “other.”

In Milam County, where almost 6,200 or 31.4% of eligible residents are fully vaccinated, about 31% of the county’s white residents, 17% of the county’s Hispanic residents and 19% of the county’s Black residents are fully vaccinated, according to DSHS data. The race of about 1,050 of the fully vaccinated was either unknown or classified as “other.”

In Mills County, where almost 1,300 or 32.2% of residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated, about 26% of the county’s white residents, 11% of the county’s Hispanic residents and 2% of the county’s Black residents are fully vaccinated, according to DSHS data. The race of about 365 of the fully vaccinated was either unknown or classified as “other.”

In Navarro County, where more than 13,150 or 34.3% of eligible residents are fully vaccinated about 32% of the county’s white residents, 21% of the county’s Hispanic residents and 21% of the county’s Black residents are fully vaccinated, according to DSHS data. The race of about 2,890 of the fully vaccinated was either unknown or classified as “other.”

In Robertson County, where more than 4,200 or 31.4% of residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated, 33% of the county’s white resident, 17% of the county’s Hispanic residents and 22% of the county’s Black residents are fully vaccinated, according to DSHS data. The race of about 510 of the fully vaccinated was either unknown or classified as “other.”

In San Saba County, where about 1,080 or 21.6% of eligible residents are fully vaccinated, about 16% of the county’s white residents, 11% of the county’s Hispanic residents and 1%. of the county’s Black residents are fully vaccinated, according to DSHS data. The race of almost 385 of the fully vaccinated was either unknown or classified as “other.”

NEW CASES, ADDITIONAL DEATHS

The total number of COVID-19 cases confirmed in Central Texas since the start of the pandemic increased by 84 Tuesday to 76,576 and one more area resident diagnosed with the virus has died.

COVID-19 has claimed as many as 1,677 lives in Central Texas, but according to Department of State Health Services data Tuesdasy the regional death toll was 1,655 including 419 Bell County residents, 13 fewer than the local count of 432; 33 Bosque County residents; 86 Coryell County residents; 32 Falls County residents; 50 Freestone County residents; 27 Hamilton County residents; 108 Hill County residents; 33 Lampasas County residents; 43 Leon County residents; 77 Limestone County residents; 471 McLennan County residents, 15 more than the local count of 456; 48 Milam County residents, one more than the local count of 47; 21 Mills County residents; 141 Navarro County residents, nine fewer than the local count of 150; 43 Robertson County residents, and 23 San Saba County residents.

The statewide death toll increased by 57 to 49,651 Tuesday.

DSHS reported 3,001 additional confirmed cases of the virus Tuesday, 2,859 of them new, increasing the statewide total to 2,490,481.

At least 56,743 cases were active Tuesday, 2,773,699 residents have recovered, and 2,508 were hospitalized, 308 more than on Monday.

In Trauma Service Area L, which includes Bell, Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, Milam, and Mills counties, at least 36 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 were hospitalized Tuesday, accounting for about 4% all hospitalizations and filling about 3% of available beds.

At least 20 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized Tuesday in Trauma Service Area M, which includes McLennan, Bosque, Falls, Hill and Limestone counties, accounting for about 5% of all hospitalizations and filling about 3% of available beds.

The statewide Lab Test Date positivity rate was 4.38% Tuesday, up from 4.16% Monday.

A positivity rate of 5% or less generally indicates the virus is contained, experts say.

VACCINE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

COVID-19 INFORMATION, LINKS AND RESOURCES

VACCINATIONS

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Monday expanded the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to people as young as 12 and vaccinations could start soon, once a federal vaccine panel meets Wednesday to review the use of the vaccine in 12- to 15-year-olds.

DSHS has sent letters to thousands of pediatric healthcare providers around the state urging them to enroll in the COVID-19 Vaccine Program in anticipation of approval.

The state is halting weekly allocations of COVID-19 vaccine to providers as supply exceeds demand instead will fill vaccine orders as they come in and will ship doses from the Department of State Health Services Pharmacy or will place orders daily with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, officials said Thursday.

The state has also opened a call center at 8 a.m. to connect businesses, organizations, and homebound seniors with mobile vaccination teams.

Businesses and civic organizations with 10 or more employees, members or visitors who are willing to be vaccinated may call 844-90-TEXAS and select Option 3 to schedule a visit from a state mobile vaccine team.

Homebound seniors may call 844-90-TEXAS and select Option 1 to request a mobile vaccine team to come to their homes.

A new White House initiative should make it easier to find available vaccines.

Text a zip code to GetVax (438829), or in Spanish to Vacuna (822862), and the response will list three nearby locations with vaccines in stock.

The Texas Public Health Vaccine Scheduler allows residents to sign up for COVID-19 shots through a list of public health departments and select preferred times of day for vaccinations. Those without internet access may call 1-833-832-7067 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.

A drive thru Moderna vaccination clinic will operate beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Calvert Fire Station at 700 Railroad St. for anyone 18 or older. Enter through the back alley on either side. Second doses will be administered on June 9.

The Waco-McLennan County Health is offering Moderna vaccinations from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. every Thursday in May at the Waco Convention Center. The clinic is open to residents 18 and older. Walk-ins are welcome. Appointments may be made online, or by calling (254) 750-1890. The Moderna vaccine will also be available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays through May at the Convention Center. The one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be available from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

Walgreens pharmacies in Central Texas are now offering same day COVID-19 vaccine appointments to residents 16 and older. Appointments may be made online or by calling a Walgreens phone scheduler at 1-800-Walgreens.

The City of Nolanville will host a free no-appointment-needed Moderna COVID-19 vaccination clinic from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays at Bell County Fire & Rescue at 84 North Main St. throughout May.

VACCINE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

COVID-19 INFORMATION, LINKS AND RESOURCES

BELL COUNTY

The Bell County Health District reported 39 additional cases of the virus Tuesday, raising the county’s total to 22,445.

At least 222 cases were active Tuesday and 21,791 residents have recovered.

The virus has claimed 432 lives in the county.

State data, which include Fort Hood personnel who live on post, showed 22,512 total cases, an increase of 50, and 419 deaths.

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor dashboard Tuesday showed two active cases and a total of 370 since Aug. 1, 2020.

Texas A&M University-Central Texas Tuesday showed no active cases and a total of 42 since March 2020, 30 of them involving students.

The Killeen ISD’s online dashboard Tuesday showed five cases involving students and three involving staff members in the past seven days and 1,781 confirmed cases since March 16, 2020, including 900 involving students and 881 involving staff.

The Killeen ISD continues to offer free COVID-19 screening to students and employees from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on regular school days at the former Nolan Middle School building at 505 Jasper Dr. in Killeen, using the 2nd Street entrance. Screening is by appointment and students younger than 18 require signed waivers from parents or guardians. The state-funded testing uses BinaxNOW nasal swab tests, which provide results in 15 minutes. Information is available online.

The Temple ISD’s online dashboard showed one active case Tuesday.

The Belton ISD’s online dashboard Tuesday showed five cases across three campuses.

VACCINE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

BELL COUNTY COVID-19 DEATHS

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

MCLENNAN COUNTY

The Waco-McLennan County Health District reported 13 additional cases of the virus Tuesday, increasing the county’s total to 27,196.

At least 115 cases were active Tuesday, 26,625 residents have recovered, and 19 were hospitalized, three of them on ventilators.

Local data show 456 deaths.

State data show 471.

The Central Texas Food Bank will distribute food from 10 a.m. to noon on May 27 at Waco ISD Stadium at 1401 South New Road.

Free COVID-19 test sites are in operation in the Waco area. Additional details are available online.

For those experiencing disabling feelings of loss, change and sadness, short-term counseling is available through the Texans Recovering Together Crisis Counseling Program. A counselor can be requested using an online form or by calling 1-866-576-1101.

Baylor University’s online dashboard showed 15 active cases Tuesday, 14 involving students and one involving a contractor. Active cases during the spring semester peaked at 449 on March 4. Since Aug. 1, 2020, a total of 3,984 cases have been confirmed. In the past seven days, eight tests have come back positive. Baylor is requiring weekly COVID-19 testing of students, faculty, and staff through the summer. The university will not require students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against the virus this fall, but is strongly encouraging everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

The McLennan Community College dashboard Tuesday showed no active cases, and a cumulative total of 364 cases, 282 of them involving students.

The Waco ISD dashboard Tuesday showed no active cases and 291 total cases involving students, 300 involving staff and 18 involving those described as “other” since Sept. 8, 2020.

The Midway ISD’s online dashboard Tuesday showed four cases across four campuses.

The Lorena ISD dashboard showed no active cases Tuesday.

The Mart ISD’s online dashboard showed no active cases Tuesday.

The McGregor ISD’s online dashboard showed no active cases Tuesday.

VACCINE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

MCLENNAN COUNTY COVID-19 DEATHS

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

CORYELL COUNTY

Coryell County had 6,978 confirmed and 274 probable cases Tuesday.

At least 7,089 residents have recovered.

The virus has claimed 86 lives in the county, according to state data.

The Copperas Cove ISD’s online dashboard Tuesday showed two cases across two campuses.

The Gatesville ISD’s online dashboard showed four cases across three campuses Tuesday.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Tuesday reported four cases involving employees at the Christina Melton Crain Unit where one inmate was isolated; one case involving an employee at the Hilltop Unit; seven cases involving employees at the Alfred D. Hughes Unit where 124 inmates were isolated; no active cases at the Mountain View Unit; one case involving an inmate and one involving an employee at the Dr. Lane Murray Unit where 97 inmates were restricted and one inmate was isolated, and one case involving an inmate and two involving employees at the Linda Woodman State Jail where 24 inmates were restricted and two were isolated.

The Cove House Free Clinic at 806 West Avenue D, Suite H, is offering free COVID-19 testing from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays. Appointments are required and may be made by calling (254) 289-9865.

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

FALLS COUNTY

Falls County had 1,890 confirmed and 198 probable cases Tuesday.

State data showed at least 2,036 residents have recovered.

The virus has claimed the lives of 32 residents, state data showed.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Tuesday reported no cases at the William Hobby Unit in Marlin, and one case involving an employee at the Marlin Transfer Unit.

LIMESTONE COUNTY

Limestone County had 2,150 confirmed and 639 probable cases Tuesday.

At least 2,669 patients have recovered.

The virus has claimed the lives of 77 residents, state data showed.

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

NAVARRO COUNTY

Navarro County had 3,465 confirmed and 2,336 probable cases Tuesday.

Of the total, at least 5,598 patients have recovered.

State data showed 141 deaths.

Local data showed 150 deaths.

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

OTHER COUNTIES

Bosque County had 1,364 confirmed and 308 probable cases of the virus Tuesday. Of the total, 1,624 residents have recovered and 33 have died, according to state data.

Freestone County had 1,104 confirmed and 815 probable cases Tuesday. At least 1,802 residents have recovered and 50 have died according to state data. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Tuesday reported three cases involving employees at the William Boyd Unit in Teague.

Hamilton County had 713 confirmed and 58 probable cases of the virus Tuesday. At least 740 residents have recovered and 27 have died, according to state data.

Hill County Tuesday had 3,791 confirmed cases and 711 probable cases. At least 4,351 patients have recovered, and 108 residents have died, according to state data. The Hill College dashboard showed no active cases Tuesday on the Hill County campus. The Hillsboro ISD dashboard Tuesday showed two cases across two campuses.

Lampasas County had 1,851 confirmed and 336 probable cases Tuesday. At least 2,119 residents have recovered, and 33 residents have died, according to state data.

Leon County had 1,275 confirmed and 361 probable cases Tuesday. At least 1,575 patients have recovered, and 43 residents diagnosed with the virus have died, according to state data.

Milam County had 1,445 confirmed and 1,090 probable cases Tuesday. At least 2,522 patients have recovered and 48 have died. Ten cases were active Tuesday, and five patients were hospitalized.

Mills County had 594 confirmed and 62 probable cases of the virus Tuesday. At least 632 patients have recovered and 21 have died, according to state data.

Robertson County had 1,723 confirmed cases Tuesday and 423 probable cases. At least 2,054 patients have recovered and a 43rd resident diagnosed with the virus has died, according to state data.

San Saba County had 525 confirmed cases Tuesday and 256 probable cases. At least 763 patients have recovered and 23 have died, according to state data. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Tuesday reported two cases involving employees at the San Saba Transfer Unit.

VACCINE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

COVID-19 INFORMATION, LINKS AND RESOURCES

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